Serving the public with innovative research and analysis
Thomas M. Mertens, research advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, stated his views on the current economy and the outlook as of August 10, 2017.
Although China’s growth has slowed recently, the country’s demand for oil could be entering a period of faster growth that could result in substantially higher oil prices. Because Americans buy and sell oil and petroleum products in the global market, global demand prospects influence the profitability of U.S. oil producers and the costs paid by U.S. consumers. Analysis based on the global relationship between economic development and oil demand illustrates the prospects for Chinese oil demand growth and the resulting opportunities and challenges for U.S. producers and consumers.
The introduction of macroprudential responsibilities at central banks and financial regulatory agencies has created a need for new measures of financial stability. While many have been proposed, they usually require further transformation for use by policymakers. We propose a transformation based on transition probabilities between states of high and low financial stability. Forecasts of these state probabilities can then be used within a decision-theoretic framework to address the implementation of a countercyclical capital buffer, a common macroprudential policy. Our policy simulations suggest that given the low probability of a period of financial instability at year-end 2015, U.S. policymakers need not have engaged this capital buffer.
PCE Inflation Dispersion statistics present a more detailed summary of the personal consumption expenditure price index (PCEPI), a measure of U.S. inflation. Included are measures of the distribution of price changes across categories and diffusion indices.
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 (TFP) presents a real-time, quarterly data series 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.