Using the annual data of real GDP from 1970 to 2010, this paper examines the synchronization of business cycles in the WAEMU. Two methods are used. First we calculate the cross correlations between cyclical components of real GDP of the different economies of the Union. The study then evaluate the concordance index proposed by Harding and Pagan . The results of the two approaches converge. They show that real cycles of the countries of WAEMU are weakly synchronous. Business cycles of the Ivory Coast, Mali and Niger are in phase with that of the WAEMU as a whole. The study also shows the asynchronous nature of the business cycle of Benin and that of the WAEMU. The results first demonstrate the high level of the risk that the common monetary policy will be countercyclical in some countries and procyclical in others, and secondly that the use of the common monetary policy in response to asymmetric shocks will cost for some countries. These results highlight the need to give a new impetus to the integration process to accelerate the cyclical convergence of WAEMU countries and facilitate the implementation of a common monetary policy that will be advantageous to all the countries the Union.
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