Frequency domain analysis and filtering of business and consumer survey expectations

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Frequency domain analysis and filtering of business and consumer survey expectations

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Economics
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Aug 02, 2021
Volume
166
Pages
42–57
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.inteco.2021.03.002
Source
MyScienceWork
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

The main objective of this study is twofold. First, we aim to detect the underlying existing periodicities in business and consumer survey expectations by means of spectral analysis. We use the Welch method to extract the harmonic components that correspond to the cyclic and seasonal patterns in all response options of monthly survey indicators. We find that business survey indicators show a common cyclical component of low frequency that corresponds to about four years, while for most consumer survey indicators we do not detect any relevant cyclic components, and the obtained lower frequency periodicities show a very irregular pattern across questions and reply options. Second, we aim to provide researchers with a filter especially designed for business and consumer survey expectations that circumvents the assumptions of other filtering methods. Most methods for seasonal adjustment are based on a priori assumptions about the structure of the components and do not depend on the features of the specific series. In order to overcome this limitation, we design a low-pass filter that allows extracting the components with periodicities similar to those that can be found in the dynamics of economic activity. We opt for a Butterworth filter and apply a zero-phase filtering process to preserve the time alignment of the time series. We find that the balances computed with the filtered series are highly correlated with the seasonally-adjusted balances published by the European Commission, albeit the former tend to be smoother for the consumer survey indicators. JEL Classification: C65; C82

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