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Portugal: Trends, cycles, and instability in output and unemployment over 2008-2012

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This article presents a trend-cycle decomposition of Portuguese Gross Domestic Product and unemployment over 2008-2012. Results show that product and labour markets were primarily marked by low frequency movements in the trend component, and less so by cyclical factors. Economic policy should therefore not neglect the structural properties of these markets, resting solely centered around standard business cycle objectives. Okun's law - the negative correlation between the output and unemployment gaps - remained empirically relevant, but not without noteworthy trend instability. All results are based on a semi-structural model with rational expectations, tailored for a small economy integrated in a credible monetary union.
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