Forecasting with the FRBNY DSGE Model
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) has built a DSGE model as part of its efforts to forecast the U.S. economy. On Liberty Street Economics, we are publishing a weeklong series to provide some background on the model and its use for policy analysis and forecasting, as well as its forecasting performance. In this post, we briefly discuss what DSGE models are, explain their usefulness as a forecasting tool, and preview the forthcoming pieces in this series.
Developing a Narrative: the Great Recession and Its Aftermath
The severe recession experienced by the U.S. economy between December 2007 and June 2009 has given way to a disappointing recovery. It took three and a half years for GDP to return to its pre-recession peak, and by most accounts this broad measure of economic activity remains below trend today. What precipitated the U.S. economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression? And what headwinds are holding back the recovery? Are these headwinds permanent, calling for a revision of our assessment of the economy?s speed limit? Or are they transitory, although very long-lasting, as the ...
Consumer confidence and economic fluctuations
Cyclical productivity in a model of labor hoarding
A search for a structural Phillips curve
The foundation of the New Keynesian Phillips curve (NKPC) is a model of price setting with nominal rigidities that implies that the dynamics of inflation are well explained by the evolution of real marginal costs. In this paper, we analyze whether this is a structurally invariant relationship. We first estimate an unrestricted time-series model for inflation, unit labor costs, and other variables, and present evidence that their joint dynamics are well represented by a vector autoregression (VAR) with drifting coefficients and volatilities. We then apply a two-step minimum distance estimator ...
U.S. wage and price dynamics: a limited information approach
This paper analyzes the dynamics of prices and wages using a limited information approach to estimation. I estimate a two-equation model for the determination of prices and wages derived from an optimization-based dynamic model in which both goods and labor markets are monopolistically competitive; prices and wages can be reoptimized only at random intervals; and, when prices and wages are not reoptimized, they can be partially adjusted to previous-period aggregate inflation. The estimation procedure is a two-step minimum distance estimation that exploits the restrictions imposed by the model ...
Do expected future marginal costs drive inflation dynamics?
This article discusses a more general interpretation of the two-step minimum distance estimation procedure proposed in earlier work by Sbordone. The estimator is again applied to a version of the New Keynesian Phillips curve, in which inflation dynamics are driven by the expected evolution of marginal costs. The article clarifies econometric issues, addresses concerns about uncertainty and model misspecification raised in recent studies, and assesses the robustness of previous results. While confirming the importance of forward-looking terms in accounting for inflation dynamics, it suggests ...
Macroeconomic nowcasting and forecasting with big data
Data, data, data . . . Economists know it well, especially when it comes to monitoring macroeconomic conditions?the basis for making informed economic and policy decisions. Handling large and complex data sets was a challenge that macroeconomists engaged in real-time analysis faced long before ?big data? became pervasive in other disciplines. We review how methods for tracking economic conditions using big data have evolved over time and explain how econometric techniques have advanced to mimic and automate the best practices of forecasters on trading desks, at central banks, and in other ...
Monitoring Economic Conditions during a Government Shutdown
The recent partial shutdown of the federal government has disrupted publication schedules for many U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data releases. Most notably, the release of GDP for the fourth quarter of 2018?originally scheduled for January 30?has been postponed indefinitely. Even without the full slate of Census Bureau and BEA releases, forecasters have continued to make predictions for 2018:Q4 GDP growth; as of February 1, the New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 2.6 percent, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow stands at 2.5 percent, and the Blue Chip Financial Forecasts ...