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The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco had hoped to host its Annual Conference on Macroeconomics and Monetary Policy on Friday, March 27, 2020. The conference brings together academic and central bank economists, financial market practitioners, and policymakers. Papers focus on macroeconomics broadly defined. Out of an abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 virus, this year’s conference has been canceled, but we are sharing the participant list and papers, which we hope will be of interest. Read more
Sylvain Leduc, executive vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, stated his views on the current economy and the outlook as of April 2, 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing severe disruptions to daily life and economic activity. Reliable assessments of the economic fallout in this rapidly evolving situation require timely data. Existing sentiment indexes are useful indicators of current and future spending but are only available with a lag or have a short history. A new Daily News Sentiment Index provides a way to measure sentiment in real time from 1980 to today. Compared with survey-based measures of consumer sentiment, this index shows an earlier and more pronounced drop in sentiment in recent weeks.
Unusual circumstances often coincide with unusual fiscal policy actions. Much attention has been paid to estimates of how fiscal policy affects the macroeconomy, but these are typically average treatment effects. In practice, the fiscal “multiplier” at any point in time depends on the monetary policy response. Using the IMF fiscal consolidations dataset for identification and a new decomposition-based approach, we show how to evaluate these monetary-fiscal effects. In the data, the fiscal multiplier varies considerably with monetary policy: it can be zero, or as large as 2 depending on the monetary offset. We show how to decompose the typical macro impulse response function into (1) the direct effect of the intervention on the outcome; (2) the indirect effect due to changes in how other covariates affect the outcome when there is an intervention; and (3) a composition effect due to differences in covariates between treated and control subpopulations. This Blinder-Oaxaca-type decomposition provides convenient way to evaluate the effects of policy, state-dependence, and balance conditions for identification.
The China Cyclical Activity Tracker, China CAT, is an alternative measure of China’s economic growth based on research in Fernald, Hsu, and Spiegel (2019).
Cyclical and Acyclical Core PCE Inflation divides components of core personal consumption expenditures according to whether they move in tandem with economic cycles or are independent of the state of the overall economy.
The Daily News Sentiment Index is a high frequency measure of U.S. economic sentiment based on lexical analysis of economics-related news articles.
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 Treasury yield premium model decomposes nominal bond yields of various maturities into three components: expectations of the average future short-term interest rate, a term premium, and a model residual.
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.