A New Coincident Index of Business Cycles Based on Monthly and Quarterly Series
25 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2002
Date Written: April 2002
Popular monthly coincident indices of business cycles, e.g., the composite index and the Stock-Watson coincident index, have two shortcomings. First, they ignore information contained in quarterly indicators such as real GDP. Second, they lack economic interpretation; hence the heights of peaks and the depths of troughs depend on the choice of an index. This paper extends the Stock-Watson coincident index by applying maximum likelihood factor analysis to a mixed-frequency series of quarterly real GDP and monthly coincident business cycle indicators. The resulting index is related to latent monthly real GDP.
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