Monitoring Real Activity in Real Time: The Weekly Economic Index
Economists are well-practiced at assessing real activity based on familiar aggregate time series, like the unemployment rate, industrial production, or GDP growth. However, these series represent monthly or quarterly averages of economic conditions, and are only available at a considerable lag, after the month or quarter ends. When the economy hits sudden headwinds, like the COVID-19 pandemic, conditions can evolve rapidly. How can we monitor the high-frequency evolution of the economy in “real time”?
U.S. Economic Activity during the Early Weeks of the SARS-Cov-2 Outbreak
This paper describes a weekly economic index (WEI) developed to track the rapid economic developments associated with the response to the novel coronavirus in the United States. The WEI shows a strong and sudden decline in economic activity starting in the week ending March 21, 2020. In the week ending April 4, the WEI indicates economic activity has fallen further to -8.89 percent, scaled to four-quarter growth in GDP.
Mobility and Engagement Following the SARS-Cov-2 Outbreak
We develop a Mobility and Engagement Index (MEI) based on a range of mobility metrics from Safegraph geolocation data, and validate the index with mobility data from Google and Unacast. We construct MEIs at the county, MSA, state and nationwide level, and link these measures to indicators of economic activity. According to our measures, the bulk of sheltering-in-place and social disengagement occurred during the week of March 15 and simultaneously across the U.S. At the national peak of the decline in mobility in early April, localities that engaged in a 10% larger decrease in mobility than ...
Real-Time Survey to Provide Timelier Labor Market Data in Era of COVID-19
An effective economic policy response to the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis requires timely and accurate information on its impact. To help reduce the information gap, we introduce the Real-Time Population Survey.
Dallas Fed Mobility and Engagement Index Gives Insight into COVID-19’s Economic Impact
To gain insight into the economic impact of the pandemic, we developed an index of mobility and engagement, based on geolocation data collected from a large sample of mobile devices.
Real-Time Population Survey Suggests U.S. Job Losses Slowed in Early May
Survey results for the week of May 10 suggest further declines in employment and an increase in unemployment relative to the week of April 26 – May 2, though both changes are within the survey’s margin of error.
Do Monetary Policy Announcements Shift Household Expectations?
We use daily survey data from Gallup to assess whether households' beliefs about economic conditions are influenced by surprises in monetary policy announcements. We first provide more general evidence that public confidence in the state of the economy reacts to certain types of macroeconomic news very quickly. Next, we show that surprises to the Federal Funds target rate are among the news that have statistically significant and instantaneous effects on economic confidence. In contrast, surprises about forward guidance and asset purchases do not have similar effects on household beliefs, ...
The Dynamic Effects of Personal and Corporate Income Tax Changes in the United States: Reply to Jentsch and Lunsford
In this reply to a comment by Jentsch and Lunsford, we show that, when focusing on the relevant impulse responses, the evidence for economic and statistically significant macroeconomic effects of tax changes in Mertens and Ravn (2013) remains present for a range of asymptotically valid inference methods.
The Near Term Growth Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
This note uses existing empirical estimates of the macroeconomic effects of tax changes to project the near term impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on US GDP growth. Applying recent reduced form estimates of tax multipliers with the projected revenue impact of the Act yields a level of GDP that is predicted to be 1.3% higher by 2020, with most of the growth front-loaded in 2018. Accounting for the composition of the Act in terms of its individual and corporate provisions leads to a similar GDP increase by 2020, but with stronger growth in 2018 and a partial reversal in the following years. ...
U.S. Economic Activity During the Early Weeks of the SARS-Cov-2 Outbreak
This paper describes a weekly economic index (WEI) developed to track the rapid economic developments associated with the response to the novel Coronavirus in the United States. The WEI shows a strong and sudden decline in economic activity starting in the week ending March 21, 2020. In the most recent week ending April 4, the WEI indicates economic activity has fallen further to -8.89% scaled to 4-quarter growth in GDP.