Forecast evaluation with cross-sectional data: The Blue Chip Surveys
If economic forecasts are to be used for decision making, then being able to evaluate their accuracy is essential. Assessing accuracy using single variables from a forecast is acceptable as a first pass, but this approach has inherent problems. This article addresses some of these problems by evaluating and comparing the general accuracy of a set of multivariate forecasts over time. ; Using the methodology developed in Eisenbeis, Waggoner, and Zha (2002), the authors compare the economic forecasts in the Blue Chip Economic Indicators Survey. The survey, published monthly since 1977, contains ...
Post-Recession Labor Market Trends in the Fifth District
District digest : Economic trends across the region
"The Roles of New and Existing Establishments in Employment in the Fifth District," article by R. Andrew Bauer, pg. 36-39
Transparency, expectations and forecasts
Many economists believe that a central bank?s transparency about its objectives, economic outlook, and policy changes affect the public?s views about future economic and financial conditions. In keeping with this theory, since 1994 the Federal Open Market Committee has gradually increased the transparency of its statements accompanying changes in the federal funds rate target. ; This article investigates whether private agents? ability to predict the economy?s direction has improved since 1994. The analysis focuses on forecasts of macroeconomic variables such as inflation, gross domestic ...
As U.S. core inflation measures have declined in recent years, analysts have renewed their efforts to understand inflation dynamics. A common approach to this issue is to make inferences about how price changes of major components affect the aggregate inflation rate. This article takes a more rigorous approach, calculating and plotting the precise contributions of major consumer expenditure categories to core inflation measures over time. ; This technique has distinct advantages. It highlights the underlying trends in inflation, enabling analysts to make more informed inferences about the ...
District Digest: The Unconventional Oil and Gas Boom
Transparency, expectations, and forecasts
In 1994, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) began to release statements after each meeting. This paper investigates whether the public?s views about the current path of the economy and of future policy have been affected by changes in the Federal Reserve?s communications policy as reflected in private sector?s forecasts of future economic conditions and policy moves. In particular, has the ability of private agents to predict where the economy is going improved since 1994? If so, on which dimensions has the ability to forecast improved? We find evidence that the individuals? forecasts ...
Where are households in the deleveraging cycle?
The ratio of household debt to disposable personal income fell rapidly during the recession of 2007-09 as consumers defaulted on loans, paid down debt, and took out fewer loans. According to some economists, this household debt reduction ? "deleveraging" ? has constrained consumer spending, contributing to a longer, deeper recession and a slower recovery. As households strengthen their balance sheets, their ability to take on new debt to finance consumption is improving, but household debt remains elevated by historical standards, and other determinants of consumer spending remain weak.
District digest: The Federal presence in the Fifth District
Economic trends across the region, pg. 52-55 compiled by Sonya Ravindranath Waddell
Using the Kalman filter to smooth the shocks of a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model
This paper shows how to use the Kalman filter (Kalman 1960) to back out the shocks of a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model. In particular, we use the smoothing algorithm as described in Hamilton (1994) to estimate the shocks of a sticky-prices and sticky-wages model using all the information up to the end of the sample.