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Eliciting GDP Forecasts from the FOMC’s Minutes Around the Financial Crisis
Stekler and Symington (2016) construct indexes that quantify the Federal Open Market Committee's views about the U.S. economy, as expressed in the minutes of the FOMC's meetings. These indexes provide insights on the FOMC's deliberations, especially at the onset of the Great Recession. The current paper complements Stekler and Symington's analysis by showing that their indexes reveal relatively minor bias in the FOMC's views when the indexes are reinterpreted as forecasts. Additionally, these indexes provide a proximate mechanism for inferring the Fed staff's Greenbook forecasts of the U.S. ...
Forecasts Point to Cautious Optimism for Near-term Rebound
Forecasts suggest the economy is on the road to recovery, though it could take a year or more for activity to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Economic Outlook Symposium: Summary of 2014 Results and 2015 Forecasts
According to participants in the Chicago Fed?s annual Economic Outlook Symposium, the U.S. economy is forecasted to grow at a pace slightly above average in 2015, with inflation ticking lower and the unemployment rate edging down.
The Fed's Response to Economic News Explains the “Fed Information Effect”
High-frequency changes in interest rates around FOMC announcements are a standard method of measuring monetary policy shocks. However, some recent studies have documented puzzling effects of these shocks on private-sector forecasts of GDP, unemployment, or inflation that are opposite in sign to what standard macroeconomic models would predict. This evidence has been viewed as supportive of a “Fed information effect” channel of monetary policy, whereby an FOMC tightening (easing) communicates that the economy is stronger (weaker) than the public had expected. We show that these empirical ...
Addressing COVID-19 Outliers in BVARs with Stochastic Volatility
Incoming data in 2020 posed sizable challenges for the use of VARs in economic analysis: Enormous movements in a number of series have had strong effects on parameters and forecasts constructed with standard VAR methods. We propose the use of VAR models with time-varying volatility that include a treatment of the COVID extremes as outlier observations. Typical VARs with time-varying volatility assume changes in uncertainty to be highly persistent. Instead, we adopt an outlier-adjusted stochastic volatility (SV) model for VAR residuals that combines transitory and persistent changes in ...
The Likelihood of 2 Percent Inflation in the Next Three Years
This Commentary examines inflation forecasts generated from a range of statistical models that historically have performed well at forecasting inflation. For each model, we look at the most likely future forecast path and the distribution of forecasts around that path. We show that the models project generally rising inflation, but, in contrast to other forecasts, five out of six models assign a less than 50 percent probability to inflation?s being 2 percent or higher over the next three years.