A comparison of measures of core inflation
The ability of central banks to differentiate between permanent and transitory price movements is critical for the conduct of monetary policy. The importance of gauging the persistence of price changes in a timely manner has led to the development of measures of underlying, or ?core,? inflation that are designed to remove transitory price changes from aggregate inflation data. Given the usefulness of this information to policymakers, there is a surprising lack of consensus on a preferred measure of U.S. core inflation. This article examines several proposed measures of core inflation?the ...
A Natural Approach to Estimating the ‘Natural Rate’ of Unemployment
The unemployment rate is a widely viewed gauge of U.S. labor market slack or tightness. Because of structural changes to the labor market over time, assessments about slack/tightness require a reference point called the “natural rate of unemployment.”
Two new indexes offer a broad view of economic activity in the New York - New Jersey region
The authors develop two coincident indexes that provide a comprehensive measure of economic activity in New Jersey, New York State, and New York City.
Pandemic Pushed the U.S. into Recession … and Hourly Wages Rose?
The onset of COVID-19 in spring 2020 prompted an unprecedented rapid rise in the unemployment rate. However, a popular and widely cited wage measure—average hourly earnings (AHE)—rose sharply as the health crisis grew.
The measurement and behavior of uncertainty: evidence from the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters
We use matched point and density forecasts of output growth and inflation from the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters to derive measures of forecast uncertainty, forecast dispersion, and forecast accuracy. We construct uncertainty measures from aggregate density functions as well as from individual histograms. The uncertainty measures display countercyclical behavior, and there is evidence of increased uncertainty for output growth and inflation since 2007. The results also indicate that uncertainty displays a very weak relationship with forecast dispersion, corroborating the findings of ...
Flexible Average Inflation Targeting and Inflation Expectations: A Look at the Reaction by Professional Forecasters
This Commentary examines the response of longer-run inflation expectations to the FOMC’s August 2020 announced switch to a flexible average inflation-targeting (FAIT) regime. The data indicate an upward shift in the lower end (below 2 percent) of the distribution of inflation expectations and a stronger anchoring of expectations around the 2 percent inflation objective following the announcement, evidence that is consistent with intended effects of the change in the monetary policy framework. To provide context, we also include a retrospective assessment of the response of inflation ...
How Much Slack Is Left in the Labor Market?
Our analysis shows that viewing the level of employment through the lens of the employment-to-population ratio does not indicate considerable slack in the labor market.
Uncertainty and labor contract durations
This paper provides an empirical investigation into the relationship between ex ante U.S. labor contract durations and uncertainty over the period 1970 to 1995. We construct measures of inflation uncertainty as well as aggregate nominal and real uncertainty. The results not only corroborate previous findings of an inverse relationship between contract durations and inflation uncertainty, but also document that this relationship extends to both measures of aggregate uncertainty. We also explore the robustness of this relationship to various measures of inflation uncertainty that have appeared ...
Tracking the new economy: using growth theory to detect changes in trend productivity
The acceleration of productivity since 1995 has prompted a debate over whether the economy's underlying growth rate will remain high. In this paper, we propose a methodology for estimating trend growth that draws on growth theory to identify variables other than productivity namely consumption and labor compensation to help estimate trend productivity growth. We treat that trend as a common factor with two "regimes," high-growth and low-growth. Our analysis picks up striking evidence of a switch in the mid-1990s to a higher long-term growth regime, as well as a switch in the early 1970s in ...
Is the worst over? Economic indexes and the course of the recession in New York and New Jersey
The New York-New Jersey region entered a pronounced downturn in 2008, but the pace of decline eased considerably in spring 2009 and then leveled off in July, according to three key Federal Reserve Bank of New York economic indexes. These developments, in conjunction with a growing consensus that the national economy is headed for recovery, suggest that the worst may be over for the region's economy. However, a downsizing of the area's critical finance sector could pose a major risk to the economic outlook going forward--particularly for New York City.