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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.
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 ...
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.
Idiosyncratic Sectoral Growth, Balanced Growth, and Sectoral Linkages
We study the growth properties of an economy where different sectors are linked by way of intermediates and potentially grow at different rates. We characterize the economy's equilibrium balanced growth path, and derive an analytical expression that summarizes how TFP growth in a given sector affects value added growth in every other sector and, therefore, aggregate GDP growth. We show in a special case that a version of Hulten's (1978) theorem, whereby the effects of changes in sector-specific productivity on GDP are entirely captured by that sector's share in GDP, also holds in growth rates ...
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 ...
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.
Coronavirus and the Risk of Deflation
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 represents an unprecedented negative shock to the global economy that is likely to severely depress economic activity in the near term. Could the crisis also put substantial downward pressure on price inflation? One way to assess the potential risk to the inflation outlook is by analyzing prices of standard and inflation-indexed government bonds. The probability of declining price levels—or deflation—among four major countries within the next year indicates that the perceived risk remains muted, despite the recent economic turmoil.
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.
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.
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.