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John Fernald, senior research advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, stated his views on the current economy and the outlook as of January 12, 2017.
The U.S. economy is in good shape, with the labor market at maximum employment and inflation nearing the Fed’s goal. Given the progress made on these goals and signs of continued solid momentum, it makes sense to gradually move interest rates toward more normal levels. The actual pace of increases will be driven by the evolution of economic conditions and its implications for achieving the Fed’s dual mandate objectives. The following is adapted from a speech by the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to the 2017 Economic Forecast in Sacramento on January 17.
Fixing the exchange rate constrains monetary policy. Along with unfettered cross-border capital flows, the trilemma implies that arbitrage, not the central bank, determines how interest rates fluctuate. The annals of international finance thus provide quasi-natural experiments with which to measure how macroeconomic outcomes respond to policy rates. Based on historical data since 1870, we estimate the local average treatment effect (LATE) of monetary policy interventions and examine its implications for the population ATE with a trilemma instrument. Using a novel control function approach we evaluate the robustness of our findings to possible spillovers via alternative channels. Our results prove to be robust. We find that the effects of monetary policy are much larger than previously estimated, and that these effects are state-dependent.
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.
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.