Using the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book to Track Economic Activity
This article provides the public a first look at a new set of indexes constructed from the Chicago Fed?s Beige Book survey, and describes their ability to track economic activity.
A snapshot of the Midwest economy: past and present
For over ten years, the Chicago Fed has published an index of national economic activity, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index. Here, the authors build on the methodology underlying this index to construct a Midwest counterpart that captures variation in economic activity in the five states that make up the Seventh Federal Reserve District.
Federal Reserve policies and financial market conditions during the crisis
During the recent financial crisis, the Federal Reserve implemented a series of extraordinary and unconventional policies to alleviate the impact of the crisis on financial markets and the economy. In this paper, we examine the effects of these policies on broad financial market conditions, explicitly taking into account that policy was endogenously determined in response to prevailing financial market and economic conditions. We find that the Fed was more likely to initiate or expand new programs when financial market conditions were tighter than usual and economic conditions deteriorating. ...
Economic trends and the Chicago Fed National Activity Index
This article discusses an experimental methodology for the Chicago Fed National Activity Index?a monthly index designed to gauge overall economic activity and inflationary pressure. The goal is to see how well it accounts for recent structural changes in the U.S. economy.
In search of a robust inflation forecast
It is difficult to consistently improve upon forecasts of inflation based solely on the most recent data on inflation. In this article, we show how to do so. Our main finding is that the most robust forecasts combine information from several different forecasting models, each of which incorporates the information in the available inflation indicators in different ways.
The Chicago Fed DSGE model
The Chicago Fed dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model is used for policy analysis and forecasting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. This article describes its specification and estimation, its dynamic characteristics and how it is used to forecast the US economy. In many respects the model resembles other medium scale New Keynesian frameworks, but there are several features which distinguish it: the monetary policy rule includes forward guidance, productivity is driven by neutral and investment specific technical change, multiple price indices identify inflation and there ...
Estimating the trend in employment growth
For the unemployment rate to decline, the U.S. economy needs to generate above-trend job growth. We currently estimate trend employment growth to be around 80,000 jobs per month, and we expect it to decline over the remainder of the decade, due largely to changing labor force demographics and slower population growth.
Monitoring financial stability: a financial conditions index approach
Monitoring financial stability requires an understanding of both how traditional and evolving financial markets relate to each other and how they relate to economic conditions. This article describes two new indexes of financial conditions that aim to quantify these relationships.
A different way to review the Chicago Fed National Activity Index
This article analyzes the recent sources of strength and weakness in the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI), using a new measure that is often a leading indicator of the index?s movements.