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Recent Publications

Economic Letter

Posted December 5, 2016
Michael D. Bauer and Glenn D. Rudebusch

Despite recent increases, long-term interest rates remain close to their historical lows. A variety of structural factors, notably slower productivity growth and a surplus of global saving, likely have lowered expectations of steady-state interest rates and pushed down long-term yields through the expectations component. In addition, accommodative monetary policy in the United States and abroad appears to have lowered the term premium on long-term bonds.

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View more FRBSF Economic Letters

Working Paper

Posted December 6, 2016
Zheng Liu, Mark M. Spiegel, and Andrew Tai

Exchange rate shocks have mixed effects on economic activity in both theory and empirical VAR models. In this paper, we extend the empirical literature by considering the implications of a positive shock to the U.S. dollar in a factor-augmented vector autoregression (FAVAR) model for the U.S. and three large Asian economies: Korea, Japan and China. The FAVAR framework allows us to represent a country’s aggregate economic activity by a latent factor, generated from a broad set of underlying observable economic indicators. To control for global conditions, we also include in the FAVAR a “global conditions index,” which is another latent factor generated from the economic indicators of major trading partners. We find that a dollar appreciation shock reduces economic activity and inflation not only for the U.S. economy, but also for all three Asian economies. This result, which is robust to a number of alternative specifications, suggests that in spite of their disparate economic structures and policy regimes, the dollar appreciation shock affects the Asian economies primarily through its impact on U.S. aggregate demand; and this demand channel dominates the expenditure-switching channel that affects a country’s export competitiveness.

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Indicators and Data

PCE Inflation Dispersion

The personal consumption expenditure price index (PCEPI) is one measure of U.S. inflation. The PCEPI measures the percentage change in prices of goods and services purchased by consumers throughout the economy.

Tech Pulse

The Tech Pulse Index is an index of coincident indicators of activity in the U.S. information technology sector. It can be interpreted as a summary statistic that tracks the health of the tech sector in a timely manner.

Total Factor Productivity

This site presents a real-time, quarterly series on total factor productivity (TFP) for the U.S. business sector, adjusted for variations in factor utilization - labor effort and capital's workweek.

Wage Rigidity Meter

The Wage Rigidity Meter offers a closer examination of the annual wage changes of U.S. workers that have not changed jobs over the year.

Weather-Adjusted Employment Change

This page provides estimates of weather-adjusted employment change in the United States for the past six months. The estimates are aggregated from county-level estimates of weather’s employment effects, which were derived from a county-level analysis of the short-run effects of unusual weather on employment growth.