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Dating business cycles in India

Radhika Pandey (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, India)
Ila Patnaik (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, India)
Ajay Shah (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, India)

Indian Growth and Development Review

ISSN: 1753-8254

Article publication date: 10 April 2017




This paper aims to present a chronology of Indian business cycles in the post-reform period. In India, earlier, macroeconomic shocks were about droughts and oil prices. Economic reforms have led to an interplay of a market economy, financial globalisation and decisions of private firms to undertake investment and hold inventory. This has changed the working of the business cycle and has raised concerns about business-cycle stabilisation. In the backdrop of these developments, the macroeconomics research agenda requires foundations of measurement about business-cycle phenomena. One element of this is the identification of dates of business-cycle turning points.


This paper uses the growth-cycle approach to present the chronology of business cycles. The paper uses the Christiano–Fitzgerald (CF) filter to extract the cyclical component and shows the robustness of the findings to the contemporary methods of cycle extraction. It then applies the Bry–Boschan algorithm to identify the dates of peaks and troughs.


The paper finds three periods of recession. The first recession was from 1999-Q4 to 2003-Q1; the second recession was from 2007-Q2 to 2009-Q3; and the third recession ran from 2011-Q2 till 2012-Q4. These results are robust to the choice of filter and to the choice of the business-cycle indicator. These dates suggest that, on average, expansions in India are 12 quarters in length and recessions run for 9 quarters. The paper offers evidence of change in the nature of cycles.


Dates of business-cycle turning points are a critical input for academic and policy work in macroeconomics. The paper offers robust estimation of the business-cycle turning points in the post-reform period using contemporary techniques of cycle extraction. This work helps lay the foundations for downstream macroeconomics research by academicians and policymakers.



Pandey, R., Patnaik, I. and Shah, A. (2017), "Dating business cycles in India", Indian Growth and Development Review, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 32-61.



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