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Will Rising Rents Push Up Future Inflation?
Rising rents account for a significant portion of recent inflation. Estimates of how rent inflation typically responds to two leading indicators—current asking rents and current house prices—can help forecast the path of overall inflation for the next two years. This method predicts that higher rent inflation could add about 0.5 percentage point to personal consumption expenditures price inflation for both 2022 and 2023. These potential additions are important in light of the Federal Reserve’s 2% inflation target.
How Are Businesses Responding to Climate Risk?
Understanding what kinds of climate-related risks businesses could face is part of the Federal Reserve’s work to support a thriving economy and well-functioning financial system. To advance these goals, the San Francisco Fed surveyed businesses in its nine-state region to learn how they perceive and approach climate risk. Findings show that businesses view a changing climate as a moderate risk to their activities, particularly through possible regulation changes, higher input costs, and variations in demand. Many businesses are adopting formal risk mitigation strategies, including ...
The Rise and Fall of Pandemic Excess Savings
U.S. households built up savings at unprecedented rates following the strong fiscal response and lower consumer spending related to the pandemic. Despite recent rapid drawdowns of those funds, estimates suggest a substantial stock of excess savings remains in the aggregate economy. Since 2020, households across all income levels have held a historically large share of savings in cash or other easily accessible forms. Estimates suggest that those funds could be available to support personal spending at least into the fourth quarter of 2023.
Rising Wildfire Risk for the 12th District Economy
The growing risk from natural disasters is a key economic effect of climate change. Severe wildfires are a leading example, and they are particularly important for the western states that make up the 12th Federal Reserve District. Analyzing data on wildfire hazard and economic activity confirms that these states are substantially more exposed to wildfire risk than the rest of the country. This gap in regional wildfire risk is likely to grow over time as climate change continues.
From Hiring Difficulties to Labor Hoarding?
Businesses faced challenges finding enough workers to fill job openings early in the pandemic recovery. One view suggests that, as economic growth moderated relative to the strong bounceback in economic activity in the early pandemic recovery period, some businesses started hoarding labor to avoid the potential difficulty of recruiting workers in the future. Evidence from Okun’s law—which theorizes that economic output tends to fall as unemployment rises—is consistent with this view. The results suggest that businesses partly adjusted production by changing the number of hours for ...
Is the American Rescue Plan Taking Us Back to the ’60s?
The American Rescue Plan provided fiscal support during a strong economic rebound, raising concerns about the risk of fueling inflation. One way to assess this risk of economic overheating uses the ratio of job vacancies to unemployment, which measures labor market slack more accurately and, hence, can predict future inflation better than the unemployment rate alone. Estimates suggest that the fiscal plan acts to temporarily raise the vacancy-to- unemployment ratio, in turn pushing up inflation by about 0.3 percentage point per year through 2022.
How Much Did the CARES Act Help Households Stay Afloat?
Widespread job losses starting in mid-March last year forced many households to rely more heavily on nonemployment income and liquid assets on hand to continue buying what they needed. Federal assistance through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act helped boost household resilience—the ability to sustain consumption despite the loss of employment income. Data suggest that the aid increased household resilience by 15 weeks, chiefly through enhanced unemployment insurance benefits. Among racial groups, this benefited Black and Hispanic households the most, raising median ...