Trimmed-Mean Inflation Statistics: Just Hit the One in the Middle
This paper reinvestigates the performance of trimmed-mean inflation measures some 20 years since their inception, asking whether there is a particular trimmed-mean measure that dominates the median consumer price index (CPI). Unlike previous research, we evaluate the performance of symmetric and asymmetric trimmed means using a well known equality of prediction test. We find that there is a large swath of trimmed means that have statistically indistinguishable performance. Also, although the swath of statistically similar trims changes slightly over different sample periods, it always ...
As the foreclosure crisis deepens, increased attention is being paid to foreclosure statistics, which are often used to judge the intensity of foreclosure problems both within and across regions. However, these statistics need to be interpreted carefully; different foreclosure statistics embed different information, and making informative comparisons with various metrics requires understanding how each is constructed.
The curiously different inflation perspectives of men and women
That men and women occasionally see things differently is not a remarkable observation. But that the sexes could report vastly different perspectives on the rate at which prices are rising over a long period of time is astonishing. This Commentary describes the difference in inflation sentiment held by men and women ? a puzzle that may hold the key to interpreting survey-based data on household inflation expectations.
Cleveland (on the) rocks
Cleveland?s employment growth has lagged the nation?s for nearly 15 years, a fact that is often blamed on the kinds of industries that are here?either the area is burdened with too much manufacturing, or it has failed to attract enough high-tech industries. But an analysis shows little support for that view.
Alternatives to Libor in consumer mortgages
Many adjustable rate mortgages in the United States are indexed to Libor. While the accuracy of this rate has recently been called into question, another issue affecting U.S. borrowers has become evident since the onset of the financial crisis. Specifically, many U.S. consumers with Libor-based loans may have been hit with substantially higher payments when their loans reset during the financial crisis than if those loans had been tied to a Treasury rate. We investigate several alternative reference rates for consumer loans and estimate their payment effects on a large sample of Libor-linked ...
Adjustable-rate mortgages and the Libor surprise
Adjustable-rate mortgages have typically been tied to either of two indexes, one based on U.S. treasuries, the other on the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. The index is used to determine a mortgage?s new interest rate when it is reset, and up until recently, the choice would have made little difference. But since 2007, the rates on which the indexes are based have diverged sharply, and borrowers with Libor-based adjustable-rate mortgages are likely to pay more than they would have had their mortgages been tied to treasuries. Moreover, the proportion of Libor-based ARMs has increased ...
Trimmed-mean inflation statistics: just hit the one in the middle
This paper reinvestigates the performance of trimmed-mean inflation measures some 20 years since their inception, asking whether there is a particular trimmed mean measure that dominates the median CPI. Unlike previous research, we evaluate the performance of symmetric and asymmetric trimmed-means using a well-known equality of prediction test. We fi nd that there is a large swath of trimmed-means that have statistically indistinguishable performance. Also, while the swath of statistically similar trims changes slightly over different sample periods, it always includes the median CPI?an ...
Forecasting inflation? Target the middle
The Median CPI is well-known as an accurate predictor of future infl ation. But it?s just one of many possible trimmed-mean inflation measures. Recent research compares these types of measures to see which tracks future inflation best. Not only does the Median CPI outperform other trims in predicting CPI inflation, it also does a better job of predicting PCE inflation, the FOMC?s preferred measure, than the core PCE.
Demographic differences in inflation expectations: what do they really mean?
It has often been reported that different demographic groups show persistent differences in their inflation expectations. Some reasonable explanations have been suggested, but most have failed to fully explain these apparent differences. We argue that the demographic differences have been overstated by using the mean to describe differences across demographic groups. When we use the median to describe inflation expectations, we find little meaningful difference across demographic groups.
Employment surveys are telling the same (sad) story
Two government surveys are used to gather information about employment in the U.S. economy, but the employment levels calculated from each seem to provide conflicting pictures of the labor market. The surveys are very different, but when the differences are taken into account and the survey results are compared with their respective business-cycle patterns, the conflict disappears.