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Series:FRBSF Economic Letter  Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco 

Journal Article
Average-Inflation Targeting and the Effective Lower Bound

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve cut the federal funds rate to essentially zero. It took further measures to support the functioning of financial markets and the flow of credit. Nevertheless, the economic downturn is putting downward pressure on inflation, which had already been running below the Fed’s 2% target for several years. This raises additional concerns that inflation expectations could decline and push inflation down further, ultimately hampering economic activity. A monetary policy framework based on average-inflation targeting could help address these ...
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 22 , Pages 01

Journal Article
Emerging Bond Markets and COVID-19: Evidence from Mexico

The pandemic caused by the coronavirus is depressing economic activity and severely straining government budgets globally. Without international support, the ability of emerging economies to weather this crisis will depend crucially on access to and the cost of borrowing in domestic government bond markets. Analyzing bond flows and risk premiums for Mexican government bonds during the pandemic gives some insights into a major emerging economy’s experience. Mexican risk premiums have increased more than 1 percentage point above predicted levels, pointing to tighter funding conditions for the ...
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 23 , Pages 01-05

Journal Article
The Fog of Numbers

In times of economic turbulence, revisions to GDP data can be sizable, which makes conducting economic policy in real time during a crisis more difficult. A simple model based on Okun’s law can help refine the advance data release of real GDP growth to provide an improved reading of economic activity in real time. Applying this to data from the Great Recession explains some of the massive GDP revisions at that time. This could provide a guide for possible revisions to GDP releases during the current coronavirus crisis.
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 20 , Pages 5

Journal Article
The Highs and Lows of Productivity Growth

Productivity growth shows evidence of switching between long periods of high and low average growth. Estimates suggest that the United States has been in the low-growth regime since 2004. Assuming this low growth continues, productivity growth in the year 2025 would be 0.6%. By dropping this assumption and allowing for a switch to consistent higher growth, an alternative estimate forecasts that the distribution of possible productivity growth across quarters could average about 1.1% in 2025.
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 21 , Pages 5

Journal Article
Market Assessment of COVID-19

News about the COVID-19 public health crisis has affected asset prices to varying degrees across sectors of the U.S. economy. Stocks in the utilities, real estate, and energy sectors initially suffered the worst sector-specific shocks, while the information technology, health-care, and telecommunications sectors fared relatively better. Businesses with higher financial leverage saw larger declines in their valuations. A simultaneous repricing of credit derivatives suggests concerns about insolvency contributed to the valuation declines. Although some stocks are recovering from the initial ...
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 14 , Pages 5

Journal Article
The COVID-19 Fiscal Multiplier: Lessons from the Great Recession

The United States enacted a series of fiscal relief and stimulus bills in recent weeks, centered around the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The current fiscal response shares key similarities to the fiscal stimulus enacted during the Great Recession. Research over the past 10 years on the macroeconomic impact of that stimulus thus has important implications for the current fiscal response. The results point to a large potential impact on GDP.
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 13 , Pages 5

Journal Article
Would an inflation target help anchor U.S. inflation expectations?

Since the October 2005 nomination of Ben Bernanke to become Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, there has been increasing speculation in the financial press that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) might soon adopt an explicit numerical objective for inflation. However, skeptics of inflation targeting have maintained that this would constrain the FOMC and might provide little benefit in return?after all, it has been argued, haven't inflation expectations in the U.S. been well anchored since the early to mid-1990s? ; In this Economic Letter, I discuss recent research on whether ...
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
The product life cycle and the electronic components industry

FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Corporate liquidity

FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Dollars and deficits

FRBSF Economic Letter

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