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Recent Publications

FedViews

Posted February 12, 2018

Fernanda Nechio, research advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, stated her views on the current economy and the outlook as of February 8, 2018.

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Economic Letter

Posted February 12, 2018
John Fernald, Robert E. Hall, James H. Stock, and Mark W. Watson

U.S. output has expanded only slowly since the recession trough in 2009, counter to normal expectations of a rapid cyclical recovery. Removing cyclical effects reveals that the deep recession was superimposed on a sharply slowing trend in underlying growth. The slowing trend reflects two factors: slow growth of innovation and declining labor force participation. Both of these powerful adverse forces were in place before the recession and, thus, were not the result of the financial crisis or policy changes since 2009.

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Working Paper

Posted January 1, 2018
Thomas M. Mertens and John C. Williams

This paper analyzes the effects of the lower bound for interest rates on the distributions of expectations for future inflation and interest rates. We use a stylized model economy where the policy instrument is subject to a lower bound to motivate the empirical analysis. Two equilibria emerge: In the “target equilibrium,” policy is unconstrained most or all of the time, whereas in the “liquidity trap equilibrium,” policy is mostly or always constrained. We use options data on future interest rates and inflation to study whether the decrease in the natural rate of interest leads to forecast densities consistent with the theoretical model. We develop a lower bound indicator that captures the effects of the lower bound on the distribution of interest rates. Qualitatively, we find that evidence is largely consistent with the theoretical predictions in the target equilibrium and find no evidence in favor of the liquidity trap equilibrium. Quantitatively, while the lower bound has a sizable effect on the distribution of future interest rates, its impact on forecast densities for inflation is relatively modest.

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Indicators and Data

PCE Inflation Dispersion

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.

Tech Pulse

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

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.

Treasury Yield Premiums

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.

Wage Rigidity Meter

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.

Weather-Adjusted Employment Change

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.

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Center for Pacific Basin Studies

The Center for Pacific Basin Studies promotes cooperation among central banks in the Pacific Basin and provides insight into and analysis of economic policy issues affecting the region.

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Dissertation Fellowship

The Thomas J. Sargent Dissertation Fellowship offers individuals an opportunity to interact with economists and visiting scholars, make progress in writing their dissertation, and increase their exposure to scholarly research.

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