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Keywords:COVID-19 

Journal Article
Consumers and COVID-19: A Real-Time Survey

We summarize the results from an ongoing survey that asks consumers questions related to the recent coronavirus outbreak, including their expectations for how the economy is likely to be affected by the outbreak and how their own behavior has changed in response to it. The survey began in early March, providing a window into how consumers’ responses have evolved in real time since the early days of the acknowledged spread of COVID-19 in the United States. In updating and charting the survey’s findings on the Cleveland Fed’s website going forward, we seek to inform policymakers and ...
Economic Commentary , Volume 2020 , Issue 08 , Pages 6

Journal Article
The Unemployment Cost of COVID-19: How High and How Long?

We use flows into and out of unemployment to estimate the unemployment rate over the next year. This approach produces less stark projections for the unemployment rate over the course of the next year than some of the more alarming projections that have been reported. Using our approach and assuming that the severest social-distancing measures will be lifted in June, we estimate that the unemployment rate will peak in May at about 16 percent but gradually decline thereafter and end the year at 7.5 percent.
Economic Commentary , Volume 2020 , Issue 09

Working Paper
Voluntary and Mandatory Social Distancing: Evidence on COVID-19 Exposure Rates from Chinese Provinces and Selected Countries

This paper considers a modification of the standard Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR) model of epidemics that allows for different degrees of compulsory as well as voluntary social distancing. It is shown that the fraction of the population that self-isolates varies with the perceived probability of contracting the disease. Implications of social distancing both on the epidemic and recession curves are investigated and their trade off is simulated under a number of different social distancing and economic participation scenarios. We show that mandating social distancing is very effective ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 382

Journal Article
The Uncertainty Channel of the Coronavirus

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has severely disrupted economic activity through various supply and demand channels. The pandemic can also have pervasive economic impact by raising uncertainty. In the past, sudden and outsized spikes in uncertainty have led to large and protracted increases in unemployment and declines in inflation. These effects are similar to those resulting from declines in aggregate demand. Monetary policy accommodation, such as interest rate cuts, can help cushion the economy from such uncertainty shocks.
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 07 , Pages 05

Journal Article
News Sentiment in the Time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing severe disruptions to daily life and economic activity. Reliable assessments of the economic fallout in this rapidly evolving situation require timely data. Existing sentiment indexes are useful indicators of current and future spending but are only available with a lag or have a short history. A new Daily News Sentiment Index provides a way to measure sentiment in real time from 1980 to today. Compared with survey-based measures of consumer sentiment, this index shows an earlier and more pronounced drop in sentiment in recent weeks.
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 08 , Pages 05

Journal Article
Mitigating COVID-19 Effects with Conventional Monetary Policy

The Federal Reserve slashed the federal funds rate in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The full impact of the pandemic on the economy is still uncertain and depends on many factors. Analysis suggests that allowing the federal funds rate to fall fast will help the economy cope with the aftermath of COVID-19. In particular, the limited policy space due to the effective lower bound of the federal funds rate before the pandemic reinforces rather than offsets the need for a rapid funds rate decline.
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 09 , Pages 05

Working Paper
Tracking Labor Market Developments during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Preliminary Assessment

Many traditional official statistics are not suitable for measuring high-frequency developments that evolve over the course of weeks, not months. In this paper, we track the labor market effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with weekly payroll employment series based on microdata from ADP. These data are available essentially in real-time, and allow us to track both aggregate and industry effects. Cumulative losses in paid employment through April 4 are currently estimated at 18 million; just during the two weeks between March 14 and March 28 the U.S. economy lost about 13 million paid jobs. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-030

Working Paper
Social Distancing and Supply Disruptions in a Pandemic

Drastic public health measures such as social distancing or lockdowns can reduce the loss of human life by keeping the number of infected individuals from exceeding the capacity of the health care system but are often criticized because of the social and the economic cost they entail. We question this view by combining an epidemiological model, calibrated to capture the spread of the COVID-19 virus, with a multisector model, designed to capture key characteristics of the U.S. Input Output Tables. Our two-sector model features a core sector that produces intermediate inputs not easily replaced ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-031

Discussion Paper
Changes in State Unemployment Insurance Rules during the COVID-19 Outbreak in the U.S.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented expansion in unemployment insurance (UI) eligibility across states. While more than forty states had modified UI rules by the end of March, not all states responded in the same way. In this article, I summarize the changes to state UI rules in response to the crisis and explore factors that have contributed to the variation in states’ responses.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-2

Discussion Paper
Impacts of COVID-19: Mitigation Efforts versus Herd Immunity

The rapid spread of COVID-19 is having devastating effects on the global economy. With death curves beginning to bend, governments will soon need to determine when and how to relax lockdown measures. The crucial question is: what are the public health consequences of reopening the economy? In this article, we argue that the observed decline in daily deaths could be due to two scenarios: social distancing measures and herd immunity. Both the widely used SIR model and the data collected thus far cannot distinguish these two scenarios. Such an identification problem generates a large degree of ...
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-3

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