Changes in the Risk-Management Environment for Monetary Policy
In response to the massive challenges presented by the global financial crisis, in late 2007 the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) began a series of large reductions in its traditional policy tool, the overnight interest rate in the federal funds market. By December 2008 the Committee had lowered the target to its effective lower bound (ELB) of 0 to 25 basis points.1 Later, in an attempt to provide additional monetary stimulus, the FOMC implemented nontraditional policy tools, such as large-scale asset purchases and forward guidance about how long the fed funds rate would stay at very low ...
The informational efficiency of econometric model forecasts
Evidence on entrepreneurs in the United States: data from the 1989–2004 survey of consumer finances
Using data from the Federal Reserve Board?s Survey of Consumer Finances, the authors examine characteristics of entrepreneurs and the businesses they run. Their analysis confirms that business owners are important sources of saving and wealth creation in the U.S. and that they are less risk averse than other wealthy households. This discounts the notion that the wealth of entrepreneurs disproportionately reflects a buildup of precautionary balances to guard against financial risk.
Unemployment risk and precautionary wealth: evidence from households' balance sheets
Recent empirical work on the strength of precautionary saving has yielded widely varying conclusions. The mixed findings may reflect a number of difficulties in proxying uncertainty, executing instrumental variables estimation, and incorporating theoretical restrictions into empirical models. For each of these problems, this paper uses existing best-practice techniques and some new strategies to relate unemployment probabilities from the Current Population Survey to net worth data from the Survey of Consumer Finances. We find that increases in unemployment risk do not boost saving by ...
The forecasting accuracy of auto assembly schedules
Production smoothing evidence from physical-product data
An evaluation of real GDP forecasts: 1996-2001
During the second half of the 1990s, forecasters made large and persistent underpredictions of GDP growth; subsequently, they missed the drop off into the recession of 2001. Forecasters do not appear to have behaved unusually during this period: Their out-period forecasts were not far from their perceptions of longer-run trends. This suggests that the forecast errors in 1996-2001 likely reflected some unusual behavior in the economy.
Tracking U.S. Consumers in Real Time with a New Weekly Index of Retail Trade
We create a new weekly index of retail trade that accurately predicts the U.S. Census Bureau's Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS). The index's weekly frequency provides an early snapshot of the MRTS and allows for a more granular analysis of the aggregate consumer response to fast-moving events such as the Covid-19 pandemic. To construct the index, we extract the co-movement in weekly data series capturing credit and debit card transactions, foot traffic, gasoline sales, and consumer sentiment. To ensure that the index is representative of aggregate retail spending, we implementa novel ...