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[Vol.26 No.3] Predicting Economic Activity via the Yield Spread: Literature Survey and Empirical Evidence in Korea

Group :
Economic Research Institute (82-2-759-5490) 2020.09.29 1651

Authour: Jaeho Yun(Ewha Womans Univ.)


This paper surveys research since the 1990s on the ability of the yield spread and its components (i.e., expectation spread and term premium components) for future economic activity, and also conducts an empirical analysis of their forecasting ability using the yield data of Korean government bonds. This paper’s survey, particularly for the US, shows that the yield spread has significant predictive power for some macroeconomic variables, but since the mid-1980s, its predictive power seems to have declined, possibly due to stronger inflation targeting. Next, this paper’s empirical analysis using Korean data indicates that the yield spread, and the term premium component in particular, has significant predictive power for industrial production (IP) growth, consumer price index growth, and the IP gap. An out-of-sample analysis shows that the prediction equations are unstable over time, and that in predicting IP growth, the yield spread decomposition makes a significant contribution to the prediction of IP growth.