Principal components analysis


The Principle component analysis (PCA) allows you to calculate a set of linearly uncorrelated series, or components, from a set of possibly correlated series. As a dimension-reduction technique, PCA helps you reduce a set of series to a smaller set of series containing most of the information of the large set. The component series are calculated using an orthogonal transformation so that the first series captures the highest possible variance of the original set. Each successive series captures the highest possible remaining variance under the constraint that it is orthogonal to the preceding series. The analysis also outputs the eigenvectors and the eigenvalues.


Do not include series used in calculations in the output

When checked, any series included in the calculation will be excluded from the output. Uncheck this setting if you want both the original series and the calculation result in the output.

Include new series automatically

When checked, any new series added to the series list will automatically be included in the calculation.

Use correlation (normalize input)

The eigenvectors will be calculated from the correlation matrix. This means that the input is centered and normalized before the components are calculated. PCA is sensitive to the scale of the input. Use this setting if variables are of different units, e.g. currencies and indices.

Use covariance

The eigenvectors will be calculated from the covariance matrix. This means that the input is only centered before the components are calculated. Remember that if you choose covariance, the input is not normalized, and the analysis will be sensitive to the scale of the input.

Number of components

Here the number of component series is defined. These are the components that will be calculated and include in the output. This number of components cannot be greater than the number of series included in the analysis. The components are sorted in order of how much variance of the original data set that they capture. If you select “Greatest” you will get the most significant series and selecting “Smallest” will yield the least significant series.

Output series description

Specify the description of the output series or use the default description.


Select what series to include in the calculation.



The matrix contains the eigenvectors of the correlation or covariance matrix. These vectors are orthonormal.

Category series

The analysis yields two category series, one with the eigenvalues and one with the cumulative proportion of the eigenvalues. The latter can be interpreted as how much of the original variance that is captured by that principal component together with all preceding components.

Time series

The “Number of components” setting specifies how many component series should be calculated. The series are either the most or least significant components. In the time series space the components are projected as the eigenvectors scaled so that the variance is the same as the corresponding eigenvalue.


Principal component UK Swap rates

The three main principal components of changes in the UK swap rates are identified using PCA.