A New “Big Data” Index of U.S. Economic Activity
The authors present a new ?big data? index of U.S. economic activity that can be used to track business and inflation cycles in real time and estimate monthly real gross domestic product growth.
Does Fiscal Stimulus Work when Recessions Are Caused by Too Much Private Debt?
We argue that fiscal stimulus funded by public debt is effective for increasing economic activity and employment even in recessions that are caused by overborrowing in the private sector. We analyze the impact of government spending on local economies between 2007 and 2009 and find evidence that the fiscal multiplier is higher in geographical areas characterized by higher individual household debt. The higher multiplier in those areas might be attributed to a direct increase in both household consumption and local economic slack.
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.
How Does the Pandemic Recession Stack Up against the Great Depression?
The 2020 recession may turn out to be the sharpest, but also the shortest, in modern times and perhaps of all time in the U.S.
Measuring the Decline in Economic Activity During the Covid-19 Pandemic
On June 8, 2020, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) issued a statement announcing that its Business Cycle Dating Committee determined U.S. economic activity had reached a cyclical peak in February 2020. Beginning in March 2020, a multitude of economic indicators declined sharply as public health orders that required nonessential businesses to close were implemented during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic here in the U.S. The declines then accelerated in April as these orders were expanded to cover nearly the entire country. However, the data for May released so far seem ...
Reforma Energética: Mexico takes first steps to overhaul oil industry
The fiscal health of the Mexican government and the living standards of Mexico?s citizens are inextricably tied to that of Pemex, making declining crude oil production over the past decade a particularly troubling sign for many in Mexico.
The zero lower bound and endogenous uncertainty
This paper documents a strong negative correlation between macroeconomic uncertainty and real GDP growth since the Great Recession. Prior to that event the correlation was weak, even when conditioning on recessions. At the same time, many central banks reduced their policy rate to its zero lower bound (ZLB), which we contend contributed to the strong correlation between macroeconomic uncertainty and real GDP growth. To test that theory, we use a model where the ZLB occasionally binds. The model roughly matches the correlation in the data?away from the ZLB the correlation is weak but strongly ...
COVID-19 and CO2
One potential side effect from the rapid decline of global economic activity since the worldwide pandemic is a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Historically, CO2 emissions rise and fall in tandem with economic activity in the short run. Since the industries most affected by the downturn also produce the most CO2, emissions could drop more than output this time around. However, without substantial and sustained changes in energy sources and efficiency, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere—the relevant factor causing climate change—will continue on its upward trajectory.
COVID-19 and Small Businesses: Uneven Patterns by Race and Income
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in one of the sharpest recessions and recoveries in U.S. history. As the virus spread over the country in a matter of weeks in March 2020, most states rapidly locked down nonessential economic activity, which plummeted as a result. As the first wave of COVID-19 subsided and people gradually learned to “live with the virus,” states reversed most of the initial lockdowns and economic activity rebounded. In our ongoing Economic Inequality series, we have explored many aspects of how the economic turmoil associated with COVID-19 differentially affected ...
We Can’t Afford Not To
Virtual Event at The National Press Club, by Mary C. Daly, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, June 15, 2020.