We propose an ordered probit framework to simultaneously predict the probabilities of recession, weaker recovery, and stronger recovery. Our approach helps identify (a) whether the next phase is a recession, (b) when the recovery period starts, and (c) whether the recovery would be a weak or strong one compared to historical standards. We believe our approach would help policy makers decide when would be appropriate to (1) start expansionary policies (higher probabilities of recession), (2) continue expansionary policies (higher probabilities of weaker recovery), or (3) turn to neutral/contractionary policies (higher probabilities of stronger recovery). The ordered probit model shows the probabilities of recession staying above 50 percent during all five recessions in our simulated out-of-sample analysis of 1980:Q1–2016:Q1. The probabilities of weaker recovery are consistent with actual periods of below trend growth. Based on 2016:Q1 data, the model suggests a meaningfully higher chance of continuing below trend growth. One key result is that the probability of weaker growth has been persistently higher than the other two scenarios for the past several years. These higher probabilities of weak growth are consistent with the accommodative monetary policy stance of the past eight years.
Keywordsprobabilities weak recovery strong recovery monetary policy fiscal policy
- Greene, William H. 2008. Econometric Analysis. Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Maddala, G. S. 1983. Limited-Dependent and Qualitative Variables in Econometrics. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Silvia, John, Iqbal Azhar, Bullard Sam, Watt Sarah and Swankoski Kaylyn. 2014. Economic and Business Forecasting: Analyzing and Interpreting Econometric Results. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Wright, Jonathan H. 2006. “The Yield Curve and Predicting Recessions.” FEDS Working Paper No. 2006-7, Federal Reserve Board.Google Scholar
- Yang, Joey W. 2005. Predicting Stock Price Movements: An Ordered Probit Analysis on the Australian Stock Market. http://www.efmaefm.org/0EFMAMEETINGS/EFMA%20ANNUAL%20MEETINGS/2005-Milan/papers/281-yang_paper.pdf.