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Author:Williams, John C. 

Working Paper
Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest : International Trends and Determinants

U.S. estimates of the natural rate of interest ? the real short-term interest rate that would prevail absent transitory disturbances ? have declined dramatically since the start of the global financial crisis. For example, estimates using the Laubach-Williams (2003) model indicate the natural rate in the United States fell to close to zero during the crisis and has remained there through the end of 2015. Explanations for this decline include shifts in demographics, a slowdown in trend productivity growth, and global factors affecting real interest rates. This paper applies the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-073

Speech
Speed Limits and Stall Speeds: Fostering Sustainable Growth in the United States

Presentation at the University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia, by John C. Williams, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, June 26, 2017
Speech , Paper 179

Speech
The role of monetary policy in bolstering economic growth

Presentation to community leaders, Salt Lake City, Utah, November 2, 2012
Speech , Paper 112

Journal Article
Three Questions on R-star

The decline in the natural rate of interest, or r-star, over the past decade raises three important questions. First, is this low level for the real short-term interest rate unique to the U.S. economy? Second, is the natural rate likely to remain low in the future? And third, is this low level confined to ?safe? assets? In answer to these questions, evidence suggests that low r-star is a global phenomenon, is likely to be very persistent, and is not confined only to safe assets.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
Measuring the natural rate of interest

A key variable for the conduct of monetary policy is the natural rate of interest -- the real interest rate consistent with output equaling potential and stable inflation. Economic theory implies that the natural rate of interest varies over time and depends on the trend growth rate of output. In this paper we apply the Kalman filter to jointly estimate the natural rate of interest, potential output, and the trend growth rate, and examine the empirical relationship between these estimated unobserved series. We find substantial variation in the natural rate of interest over the past four ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2001-56

Journal Article
Looking Back, Looking Ahead

The U.S. economy is in good shape, with the labor market at maximum employment and inflation nearing the Fed?s goal. Given the progress made on these goals and signs of continued solid momentum, it makes sense to gradually move interest rates toward more normal levels. The actual pace of increases will be driven by the evolution of economic conditions and its implications for achieving the Fed?s dual mandate objectives. The following is adapted from a speech by the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to the 2017 Economic Forecast in Sacramento on January 17.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Speech
Measure Twice, Cut Once

Remarks at SOFR Symposium: The Final Year (Part II) (delivered via videoconference).
Speech

Speech
Monetary Policy and the Economic Outlook: A Fine Balancing Act

Presentation to the 54th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon, Phoenix, Arizona, John C. Williams, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, November 29, 2017.
Speech , Paper 185

Speech
When the United States Sneezes…

Presentation to the 2017 Asia Economic Policy Conference: Monetary Policy Challenges in a Changing Global Environment San Francisco, California, John C. Williams, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, November 16, 2017
Speech , Paper 184

Journal Article
The slow recovery: it’s not just housing

States that were hit hard by the housing bust performed worse economically during the recession of 2007-09. However, the close relationship between the fall in home prices and state economic activity has largely disappeared during the recovery. High unemployment, restrained demand, and idle production capacity are national in scope. These are just the sorts of problems monetary policy can address. ; This Letter was adapted from a speech by the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco at the University of San Diego on April 3, 2012.
FRBSF Economic Letter

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