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High Frequency Data and a Weekly Economic Index during the Pandemic

This paper describes a weekly economic index (WEI) developed to track the rapid economic developments associated with the onset of and policy response to the novel coronavirus in the United States. The WEI, with its ten component series, tracks the overall economy. Comparing the contributions of the WEI’s components in the 2008 and 2020 recessions reveals differences in how the two events played out at a high frequency. During the 2020 collapse and recovery, it provides a benchmark to interpret similarities and differences of novel indicators with shorter samples and/or nonstationary ...
Staff Reports , Paper 954

Working Paper
FRED-MD: A Monthly Database for Macroeconomic Research

This paper describes a large, monthly frequency, macroeconomic database with the goal of establishing a convenient starting point for empirical analysis that requires "big data." The dataset mimics the coverage of those already used in the literature but has three appealing features. First, it is designed to be updated monthly using the FRED database. Second, it will be publicly accessible, facilitating comparison of related research and replication of empirical work. Third, it will relieve researchers from having to manage data changes and revisions. We show that factors extracted from our ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-12

Exploiting the monthly data flow in structural forecasting

This paper develops a framework that allows us to combine the tools provided by structural models for economic interpretation and policy analysis with those of reduced-form models designed for nowcasting. We show how to map a quarterly dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model into a higher frequency (monthly) version that maintains the same economic restrictions. Moreover, we show how to augment the monthly DSGE with auxiliary data that can enhance the analysis and the predictive accuracy in now-casting and forecasting. Our empirical results show that both the monthly version of ...
Staff Reports , Paper 751

The Outlook for the Economy and Monetary Policy 05-08-2017 The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chicago, IL

As everyone in this room knows, economic forecasting is both science and art. Today, I will discuss my outlook for the economy and my views on monetary policy. Of course, these are my own views and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve System or my colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee. The economic expansion turns eight years old next month. It got off to a slow start from a very weak place, but now this expansion is one of the longest on record. While the quarterly pattern has had its share of ups and downs, output growth has maintained a moderate pace of a bit more than 2 ...
Speech , Paper 82

Working Paper
Quantifying Risks to Sovereign Market Access: Methods and Challenges

In this paper we use data from the euro area to study episodes when sovereigns lose market access. We construct a detailed dataset with potential indicators of market access tensions, and evaluate their ability to forecast episodes when market access is lost, using various econometric approaches. We find that factors associated with high market access tensions are not limited to financial markets, but also encompass developments in global demand, macroeconomic conditions and the fiscal stance. Using the top-performing indicators, we construct a number of market tension indices and use them as ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 377

Discussion Paper
How Could Oil Price and Policy Rate Hikes Affect the Near-Term Inflation Outlook?

Since the start of the year, oil prices have risen sharply owing to worsening expectations regarding global oil supply. We’ve also had an acceleration of inflation in the United States and the euro area, as well as a sharp steepening of the expected paths of policy rates in both economies. These factors, combined with the potential for a slowdown in growth, have made the inflation outlook quite uncertain. In this post, we combine the demand and supply oil price decomposition from the New York Fed’s Oil Price Dynamics Report with yield curve data to quantify the likely path of inflation in ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20220624

Working Paper
Unspanned macroeconomic factors in the yield curve

In this paper, we extract common factors from a cross-section of U.S. macro-variables and Treasury zero-coupon yields. We find that two macroeconomic factors have an important predictive content for government bond yields and excess returns. These factors are not spanned by the cross-section of yields and are well proxied by economic growth and real interest rates.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-57

Journal Article
Flexible Average Inflation Targeting and Inflation Expectations: A Look at the Reaction by Professional Forecasters

This Commentary examines the response of longer-run inflation expectations to the FOMC’s August 2020 announced switch to a flexible average inflation-targeting (FAIT) regime. The data indicate an upward shift in the lower end (below 2 percent) of the distribution of inflation expectations and a stronger anchoring of expectations around the 2 percent inflation objective following the announcement, evidence that is consistent with intended effects of the change in the monetary policy framework. To provide context, we also include a retrospective assessment of the response of inflation ...
Economic Commentary , Volume 2021 , Issue 09 , Pages 7

Working Paper
GDPNow: A Model for GDP \"Nowcasting\"

This paper documents GDPNow, a "nowcasting" model for gross domestic product (GDP) growth that synthesizes the "bridge equation" approach relating GDP subcomponents to monthly source data with the factor model approach used by Giannone, Reichlin, and Small (2008). The GDPNow model forecasts GDP growth by aggregating 13 subcomponents that make up GDP with the chain-weighting methodology used by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Using current vintage data, out-of-sample GDPNow model forecasts are found to be more accurate than a number of statistical benchmarks since 2000. Using ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2014-7

Working Paper
FRED-QD: A Quarterly Database for Macroeconomic Research

In this paper we present and describe a large quarterly frequency, macroeconomic database. The data provided are closely modeled to that used in Stock and Watson (2012a). As in our previous work on FRED-MD, our goal is simply to provide a publicly available source of macroeconomic “big data” that is updated in real time using the FRED database. We show that factors extracted from this data set exhibit similar behavior to those extracted from the original Stock and Watson data set. The dominant factors are shown to be insensitive to outliers, but outliers do affect the relative influence ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-005


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