DP13519 The Slope of the Term Structure and Recessions: Evidence from the UK, 1822-2016

Author(s): Forrest Capie, Charles A Goodhart, Terence C Mills
Publication Date: February 2019
Keyword(s): prediction, probit models, Recession, yield spread
JEL(s): E30, E32, E43, E44, N10
Programme Areas: Monetary Economics and Fluctuations
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13519

This paper investigates whether the inversion of the yield spread, with short-term rates higher than the long-term rate, has been and remains an effective predictor of recessions in the U.K. using monthly data from 1822 to 2016. Indicators of recession are constructed in a variety of ways depending on the availability and properties of the data in the pre-World War 1, inter-war, and post-World War 2 periods. It is found that, using peak-to-trough recession indicators and a probit regression model, there is reasonably strong evidence to support the inverted yield spread being a predictor of recessions for lead times up to eighteen months in all three periods.