The recession's impact on the state budgets of New York and New Jersey
In the wake of the most recent U.S. recession, both New York State and New Jersey have faced multibillion-dollar budget gaps. An analysis of the makeup of their budgets reveals that the states' heavy reliance on personal income taxes--particularly from high-wage earners in the finance sector--has exacerbated revenue shortfalls. To close their budget gaps, New York and New Jersey have had to make difficult choices about tax increases and service cuts. In the future, the states might take steps to avert such budget quandaries by establishing "rainy day" funds or restructuring taxes to make ...
National and regional factors in the metropolitan economy
The connections between broad economic indicators in the metropolitan region and their national counterparts are examined by the authors. The authors show that over the last seven years, employment growth has been poor in both absolute terms and relative to the nation, possibly indicating a region in decline. However, they note that the region's income growth has been considerably better than its employment growth, suggesting a region whose goods and services remain in healthy demand.
Measuring economic activity and economic welfare: what are we missing?
Major U.S. economic data, most notably GDP and Industrial Production, are undergoing major changes. Proposals have been made for significant alterations in the CPI. The revision process has helped to spur debate on such topics as the proper method of accounting for high technology's role in the economy, the reported sluggishness of productivity growth in many service industries, and the overstatement of price increases for numerous products. This paper attempts to assess the potential impact of some of these problems on our understanding of basic trends in the economy. It is found that with ...
The relationship between manufacturing production and goods output
The sharp divergence in the 2001 recession between two key economic indicators-manufacturing production and goods output-could suggest that one indicator is flawed, casting doubt on the reliability of its overall series. This analysis finds no evidence of error. Rather, the strength of spending on consumer-relative to capital-goods and the growth of merchandising services in the sale of consumer goods more likely explain the recent deviation.
How worrisome is a negative saving rate?
The U.S. personal saving rate's negative turn in 2005 has raised concerns that Americans may have to curtail their spending and accept a lower standard of living as they pay off rising debts. However, a closer look at saving trends suggests that the risks to household well-being are overstated. The surge in energy costs may have temporarily dampened saving, while the accounting of household income from stock holdings may be skewing saving estimates. Moreover, broad measures of saving have remained positive, and household wealth is on the rise.>
Regional employment trends in the Second District
It is well known that job growth in the Second District as a whole has not kept pace with national trends over the last few years. This article offers a different perspective by assessing job trends in specific regions within the District. The authors conclude that employment growth has resumed in most of the District and that in areas such as Northern New Jersey and Albany, the gaps with the national data are either small or narrowing. The areas in the District that have been lagging are mainly those feeling the effects of corporate restructuring and defense cutsills that should abate over ...
Are there good alternatives to the CPI?
Critics of the consumer price index--the most widely watched inflation measure--contend that it overstates inflation by as much as 1 percentage point a year. Some have argued that alternative indexes eliminate the CPI's upward bias and offer a more accurate reading of inflation levels. A closer look at these alternatives, however, reveals that they have substantive problems of their own, suggesting that the CPI, though flawed, is still our most reliable indicator of changes in inflation.
Social security and saving
Industrial capacity and industrial investment
This paper examines the relationship between capacity growth and the growth and composition of investment. Because capacity is an index of the maximum sustainable output of an industry, capacity growth is unlikely to be determined solely by the growth of an industry's fixed capital stock. Statistical analysis of two-digit manufacturing industries finds that labor force growth, as well as capital stock growth, also helps explain the growth of capacity over the 5-year periods between Censuses of manufacturing. There is evidence that changes in the composition of an industry's capital stock are ...