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International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper focuses on some of the key stylized facts of Korean business and export cycles over 1960–2001, and calculates a chronology for the classical cycle in these series by applying a variant of the Bry and Boschan (1971) cycle-doling algorithm. It highlights that the Korean classical business cycle and exports cycles are extremely asymmetric, as they exhibit long-lived expansions and much shorter-lived contractions. The results also indicate that the probability of ending a contraction or expansion phase in Korean industrial production and Korean real exports is independent of their duration.
Mr. Zenon Kontolemis
This paper identifies turning points for the U.S. business cycle using different time series. The model, a multivariate Markov-Swiching model, assumes that each series is characterized by a mixture of two normal distributions (a high and low mean) with switching determined by a common Markov process. The procedure is applied to the series that make up the composite U.S. coincident indicator to obtain business cycle turning points. The business cycle chronology is closer to the NBER reference cycle than the turning points obtained from the individual series using a univariate model. The model is also used to forecast the series, with encouraging results.
Mr. Don E. Schlagenhauf and Stefan C. Norrbin
Empirical research has been conducted on the various theories of the business cycle over many countries. However, very little research has attempted to undertake a multi-country disaggregate investigation into the sources of output change. This paper decomposes fluctuations in industry output in a particular country into: (1) a nation specific shock; (2) an industry specific shock; (3) a world shock; and (4) an idiosyncratic factor. Using a dynamic factor analysis-state-space approach, the paper finds that the nation-specific shock is the most important impulse.
Mr. Ales Bulir
This paper examines credit origins of the business cycle in the former Czechoslovakia. Industrial production is found to be cointegrated with various measures of bank credit during 1976-90 and it is shown that noninvestment credits are Granger-causing industrial production and that a feedback relation exists between investment credits and industrial production. Although the potency of credit supply shocks to industrial production has been changing, production decline (growth) seems to follow credit tightening (loosening). However, the paper confirms that credit shocks were only a minor part of the output decline in 1989-90.
Mr. Andre O Santos
We use the regime-switching econometric models in Hamilton (1989) and Filardo (1994) to study business cycles in Mexico. In particular, we characterize the ups and downs of economic activity in Mexico. As a proxy for economic activity, we use the Mexican quarterly industrial production index from the second quarter of 1972 to the third quarter of 1999. We allow the transition probabilities driving changes in economic activity to be a function of fiscal, financial, and external sector indicators. Our results show that recessions in Mexico are deeper and shorter than expansions.
Mr. Joannes Mongardini and Tahsin Saadi-Sedik
The analysis of coincident and leading indicators can help policymakers gauge the short-term direction of economic activity. While such analysis is well established in advanced economies, it has received relatively little attention in many emerging market and developing economies, reflecting in part the lack of sufficient historical data to determine the reliability of these indicators. This paper presents an econometric approach to deriving composite indexes of coincident and leading indicators for a small open economy, Jordan. The results show that, even with limited monthly observations, it is possible to establish meaningful economic and statistically significant relations between indicators from different sectors of the economy and the present and future direction of economic activity.
Mr. Matteo Iacoviello
This paper presents a "bridge model" for short-run (one or two quarters ahead) forecasting of Italian GDP, relying on industrial production and survey indicators as key variables that can help in providing a real-time first GDP estimate. For a one- to two-year horizon, it formulates and estimates a Bayesian VAR (BVAR) model of the Italian economy. Both the "bridge" and the BVAR model can be of great help in supplementing traditional judgmental or structural econometric forecasts. Given their simplicity and their good forecasting power, the framework may be usefully extended to other variables as well as to other countries
Mr. Serhat Solmaz and Marzie Taheri Sanjani
External headwinds, together with domestic vulnerabilities, have loomed over the prospects of emerging markets in recent years. We propose an empirical toolbox to quantify the impact of external macro-financial shocks on domestic economies in parsimonious way. Our model is a Bayesian VAR consisting of two blocks representing home and foreign factors, which is particularly useful for small open economies. By exploiting the mixed-frequency nature of the model, we show how the toolbox can be used for “nowcasting” the output growth. The conditional forecast results illustrate that regular updates of external information, as well as domestic leading indicators, would significantly enhance the accuracy of forecasts. Moreover, the analysis of variance decompositions shows that external shocks are important drivers of the domestic business cycle.
Robin L. Lumsdaine and Mr. Eswar S Prasad
This paper develops an aggregation procedure using time-varying weights for constructing the common component of international economic fluctuations. The methodology for deriving time-varying weights is based on some stylized features of the data documented in the paper. The model allows for a unified treatment of cyclical and seasonal fluctuations and also captures the dynamic propagation of shocks across countries. Correlations of individual country fluctuations with the common component provide evidence of a “world business cycle” and a distinct European common component. The results suggest that macroeconomic fluctuations have become more closely linked across industrial economies in the post–Bretton Woods period.
Mr. Torsten M Sloek and Mr. Peter F. Christoffersen
There is ample empirical evidence for developed economies that asset prices contain information about future economic developments. But is this also the case in transition economies? Using a panel of monthly data for the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, and Slovenia for the period 1994-1999 it is shown that historical values for interest rates, exchange rates, and stock prices signal future movements in real economic activity. This result has significant implications for policymakers, and a composite leading indicator based on the three asset prices is presented, which contains information about the future development of economic activity.