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Dating the ‘world business cycle’

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By mid-2008 the world was witnessing the unfolding of a relatively rare macroeconomic phenomenon, namely, the onset of what one might call a synchronized international – or ‘world’ – recession. But what exactly is a ‘synchronized world recession’? This article proposes a practical definition of a ‘synchronized world recession’ and a putative set of historical post-WWII dates for a ‘world business cycle chronology’. Further, using a constructed ‘world coincident index of economic indicators’ and an associated ‘world leading index of economic indicators’, this article demonstrates that evidence was available from early in the second half of 2007 that the world was indeed sliding inexorably towards its fourth synchronized world recession since WWII (although, interestingly, already its second of the twenty-first century!).

Keywords: E32; E37; business cycle dating; forecasting business cycles; synchronized international recession; world business cycle

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Economic Cycle Research Institute, New York,NY, USA 2: Faculty of Business,University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Queensland 4350, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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