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Kevin J. Lansing, research advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, stated his views on the current economy and the outlook as of September 10, 2015.
The recent Federal Open Market Committee decision to hold off on raising interest rates reflected conflicting signals, with favorable U.S. economic conditions offset by downside risks from abroad. However, the economy continues to make progress toward achieving the FOMC’s goals. If developments stay on track, the process of monetary policy normalization is likely to start later this year. The following is adapted from a presentation by the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to the UCLA Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles on September 28, 2015.
A consensus has recently emerged that a number of variables in addition to the level, slope, and curvature of the term structure can help predict interest rates and excess bond returns. We demonstrate that the statistical tests that have been used to support this conclusion are subject to very large size distortions from a previously unrecognized problem arising from highly persistent regressors and correlation between the true predictors and lags of the dependent variable. We revisit the evidence using tests that are robust to this problem and conclude that the current consensus is wrong. Only the level and the slope of the yield curve are robust predictors of excess bond returns, and there is no robust and convincing evidence for unspanned macro risk.
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.
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.
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.
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.