Relating Postal Activity to the Business Cycle by Linear Regression with Integral Equations
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We relate the cyclical components of USPS volumes and revenues per piece to a coincident indicator of the business cycle. The relationships are represented as linear integral equations and fit employing specialized algebraic methods. Our technique yields OLS estimates in the form of continuous coefficient functions spanning three years. In general, we find that USPS volumes and revenues respond to business conditions as expected but with diverse timings. However, our fits do not explain a high percentage of the variation in the cyclical component of any postal time series. Overall, U.S. postal activity does not appear to be strongly related to the business cycle.
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