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The Federal Open Market Committee noted in its March 2021 statement that, although indicators show an improvement in economic activity and employment, the hardest hit sectors remain weakened by the pandemic. What does the Fed’s decision to keep interest rates low mean for you? Let’s rewind and learn more in the SF Fed Blog.
Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau, vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, stated his views on the current economy and the outlook as of April 8, 2021.
Consumer spending and business operations across the United States have been highly dependent on local conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Current economic forecasts therefore must incorporate projections for where the pandemic is headed. A new econometric model provides county-level and national forecasts of COVID-19 infections. Estimates from the model indicate that population immunity acquired from prior infections is the primary driver of recent declines in new cases. This factor should continue to exert strong downward pressure on new cases in the weeks ahead.
Despite the ubiquity of inflation targeting, central banks communicate their frameworks in a variety of ways. No central bank explicitly expresses their conduct via a policy rule, which contrasts with models of policy. Central banks often connect theory with their practice by publishing inflation forecasts that can, in principle, implicitly convey their reaction function. We return to this central idea to show how a central bank can achieve the gains of a rule-based policy without publicly stating a specific rule. The approach requires central banks to specify an inflation target, inflation tolerance bands, and provide economic projections. When inflation moves outside the band, inflation forecasts provide a time frame over which inflation will return to within the band. We show how this communication replicates and provides the same information as a rule-based policy. In addition, the communication strategy produces a natural benchmark for assessing central bank performance.
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).
COVID-19 Forecasts by County projects future infection growth rates for various horizons using near real-time data on social distancing behavior, weather, vaccinations, and confirmed COVID-19 cases per capita. The forecasts are based on the estimated relationship between transmission factors and subsequent infection growth over the pandemic to date.
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.
Inflation Sensitivity to COVID-19 divides core personal consumption expenditures inflation into components that are sensitive and insensitive to the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic.
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 data updates have been discontinued.
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.