measuring business cycle

1) Download the spreadsheet file downloadwhich includes time series data for the coincident economic index, CEI, and its underlying component data for the four coincident indicators for next week. Create five graphs of these time series graphed, from January 1959 to present, against the business cycle dates (as shaded areas) using the NBER chronology.

2) Calculate a 1-month diffusion index of the four coincident indicators from January 1950 to present and graph it.

3) Prepare a spreadsheet with Industrial Production Index (IP) and industrial capacity utilization data (from the Federal Reserve. You can find this on FRED or the FED website). Make two graphs that include these time series graphed against the business cycle dates (as shaded areas) using the NBER chronology. Do you think the economy is currently growing above or below trend? Why or why not?

4) Download GDP and potential GDP data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) here (Links to an external site.)

Look at Potential GDP and Underlying Inputs at the bottom of that page and download files from January 2021 and January 2020. Create a new spreadsheet by extracting data for Real GDP (only from the January 2021 file – this is the latest revised data for real GDP) and potential GDP estimates from the two files and create 1 graph with all three lines.

How have the potential GDP estimates changed over time? What is responsible for the changes? [Your graph will be similar to Figure 1 on page 21 in this report (Links to an external site.)]

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