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Author:Almuzara, Martín 

Discussion Paper
The Layers of Inflation Persistence

In a recent post, we introduced the Multivariate Core Trend (MTC), a measure of inflation persistence in the core sectors of the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index. With data up to February 2022, we used the MCT to interpret the nature of post-pandemic price spikes, arguing that inflation dynamics were dominated by a persistent component largely common across sectors, which we estimated at around 5 percent. Indeed, over the year, inflation proved to be persistent and broad based, and core PCE inflation is likely to end 2022 near 5 percent. So, what is the MCT telling us today? ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20230105

Discussion Paper
Where Is Inflation Persistence Coming From?

Elevated inflation continues to be a top-of-mind preoccupation for households, businesses, and policymakers. Why has the post-pandemic inflation proved so persistent? In a Liberty Street Economics post early in 2022, we introduced a measure designed to dissect the buildup of the inflationary pressures that emerged in mid-2021 and to understand where the sources of its persistence are. This measure, that we labeled Multivariate Core Trend (MCT) inflation analyzes whether inflation is short-lived or persistent, and whether it is concentrated in particular economic sectors or broad-based.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20230706b

Discussion Paper
How Large Are Inflation Revisions? The Difficulty of Monitoring Prices in Real Time

With prices quickly going up after the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation releases have rarely been as present in the public debate as in recent years. However, since inflation estimates are frequently revised, how precise are the real-time data releases? In this Liberty Street Economics post, we investigate the size and nature of revisions to inflation. We find that inflation estimates for a given month can change substantially as subsequent data vintages are released. As an example, consider March 2009. With the economy contracting amid the Global Financial Crisis, the twelve-month inflation rate ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20230907

Report
Aggregate Output Measurements: A Common Trend Approach

We analyze a model for N different measurements of a persistent latent time series when measurement errors are mean-reverting, which implies a common trend among measurements. We study the consequences of overdifferencing, finding potentially large biases in maximum likelihood estimators of the dynamics parameters and reductions in the precision of smoothed estimates of the latent variable, especially for multiperiod objects such as quinquennial growth rates. We also develop an R2 measure of common trend observability that determines the severity of misspecification. Finally, we apply our ...
Staff Reports , Paper 962

Report
A Measure of Core Wage Inflation

We recover the persistent (“core”) component of nominal wage growth over the past twenty-five years in the United States. Our approach combines worker-level data with time-series smoothing methods and can disentangle the common persistence of wage inflation from the persistence specific to some subgroup of workers, such as workers in a specific industry. We find that most of the business cycle fluctuations in wage inflation are persistent and driven by a common factor. This common persistent factor is particularly important during inflationary periods, and it explains 80 to 90 percent of ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1067

Discussion Paper
Inflation Persistence—An Update with December Data

This post presents an updated estimate of inflation persistence, following the release of personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price data for December 2022. The estimates are obtained by the Multivariate Core Trend (MCT), a model we introduced on Liberty Street Economics last year and covered most recently in a January post. The MCT is a dynamic factor model estimated on monthly data for the seventeen major sectors of the PCE price index. It decomposes each sector’s inflation as the sum of a common trend, a sector-specific trend, a common transitory shock, and a sector-specific transitory ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20230207

Discussion Paper
Reintroducing the New York Fed Staff Nowcast

“Nowcasts” of GDP growth are designed to track the economy in real time by incorporating information from an array of indicators as they are released. In April 2016, the New York Fed’s Research Group launched the New York Fed Staff Nowcast, a dynamic factor model that generated estimates of current quarter GDP growth at a weekly frequency. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic sparked widespread economic disruptions—and unprecedented fluctuations in the economic data that flow into the Staff Nowcast. This posed significant challenges to the model, leading to the suspension of publication ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20230908

Discussion Paper
Inflation Persistence: Dissecting the News in January PCE Data

This post presents updated estimates of inflation persistence, following the release of personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price data for January 2023. The estimates are obtained by the Multivariate Core Trend (MCT), a model we introduced on Liberty Street Economics last year and covered most recently here and here. The MCT is a dynamic factor model estimated on monthly data for the seventeen major sectors of the PCE price index. It decomposes each sector’s inflation as the sum of a common trend, a sector-specific trend, a common transitory shock, and a sector-specific transitory shock. ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20230309

Discussion Paper
Inflation Persistence: How Much Is There and Where Is It Coming From?

The surge in inflation since early 2021 has sparked intense debate. Would it be short-lived or prove to be persistent? Would it be concentrated within a few sectors or become broader? The answers to these questions are not so clear-cut. In our view, one should ask how much of the inflation is persistent and how much of it is broad-based. In this post, we address this question through a quantitative lens. We find that the large ups and downs in inflation over the course of 2020 were largely the result of transitory shocks, often sector-specific. In contrast, sometime in the fall of 2021, ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20220420

Report
GDP Solera: The Ideal Vintage Mix

We exploit the information in the successive vintages of gross domestic expenditure (GDE) and gross domestic income (GDI) from the current comprehensive revision to obtain an improved, timely measure of U.S. aggregate output by exploiting cointegration between the different measures and taking their monthly release calendar seriously. We also combine all existing overlapping comprehensive revisions to achieve further improvements. We pay particular attention to the Great Recession and the pandemic, which, despite producing dramatic fluctuations, does not generate noticeable revisions in ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1027

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