There is now considerable evidence that business cycle variation in output and employment in the U.S. di¤ers in expansions and contractions. We present nonparametric evidence that asymmetries are strongest in durable goods manufacturing. In a Markov switching framework, we find two leading indicators, consumer expectations and the term spread, act as important driving forces behind asymmetry. Cross sectional analysis, using firm level data, shows that plant and equipment expenditures, raw materials inventory holdings, and bankruptcy score increase the likelihood ratio index for asymmetry by more than 65%.
asymmetry industry triples test Markov switching oil prices inventories leading indicators