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Why Does the Yield-Curve Slope Predict Recessions?
Why is an inverted yield-curve slope such a powerful predictor of future recessions? We show that a decomposition of the yield curve slope into its expectations and risk premia components helps disentangle the channels that connect fluctuations in Treasury rates and the future state of the economy. In particular, a change in the yield curve slope due to a monetary policy easing, measured by the current real-interest rate level and its expected path, is associated with an increase in the probability of a future recession within the next year. In contrast, a decrease in risk premia is ...
The continuing power of the yield spread in forecasting recessions
In this paper, we replicate the main results of Rudebusch and Williams (2009), who show that the use of the yield spread in a probit model can predict recessions better than the Survey of Professional Forecasters. We investigate the robustness of their results in several ways: extending the sample to include the 2007-09 recession, changing the starting date of the sample, changing the ending date of the sample, using rolling windows of data instead of just an expanding sample, and using alternative measures of the actual" value of real output. Our results show that the Rudebusch-Williams ...