Forecasting Financial and Economic Cycles

Article excerpt

Michael P. Niemira, and Philip A. Klein. Forecasting Financial and Economic Cycles. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1994, pp. 526.

By James Cicarelli

As paradoxical as it may seem, Niemira and Klein have written a book that should appeal to novice and professional forecasters alike. For those brand new to forecasting, Forecasting Financial and Economic Cycles provides a compre-hensive overview of the American business cycle, its causes and consequences, and the many methods advanced--some accurate, some not--to predict its frequency, depth, length, and impact on the whole economy or sectors thereof.

For the seasoned forecaster, the book is a chance to get back to basics. It provides a quick yet thorough summary of the history of the business cycle in the United States. Preceding this discussion is a review of the various theories of the business cycle as well as a description of numerous methods economists and statisticians have developed to measure, monitor, and forecast cycles.

The bulk of the book, some 150 pages, is devoted to applications of cycle techniques to special situations such as industry cycles, the inflation cycle, and the international business cycle. Included in this portion of the book is a chapter by Keith R. Phillips on "Regional Indexes of Leading Economic Indicators." The book also contains several interesting appendices, including one which lists ten electronic bulletin boards that give up-to-date as well as complete historical data so important in cycle analysis and forecasting. …