This post gives our summary of the 2011:Q1 Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, released today by the New York Fed. The report shows signs of healing in household balance sheets in the United States and the region, as measured by consumer debt levels, delinquency rates, foreclosure starts, and bankruptcies— although the regional data are somewhat mixed. The report captures the debt and credit activity of an anonymous, nationally representative panel of U.S. households.
Discussions of New York City’s economy that focus on declining employment, a shrinking securities industry, and a reduction in municipal jobs might suggest the present. These concerns, however, are not new. In the 1970s, New York City faced many of the same problems it does now in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Back then, some observers doubted that the city could ever recover its former glory.
With the federal funds rate at the zero lower bound, the Fed’s large-scale purchase of Treasury securities provides an alternative tool to boost the economy. In November 2010, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced a second round of large-scale asset purchases (LSAP2) with the goal of accelerating the recovery. In this post, we analyze the impact of LSAP2 on the two variables that fall under the Fed’s dual mandate: inflation and unemployment. Our point estimates suggest that the effects will be moderate and delayed, although there is considerable uncertainty attached to these estimates.
After bottoming out in late 2009, New York City’s economy has been on the road to recovery. In this post, we call attention to an unprecedented feature of the current economic recovery: overall employment in the city began to rebound from the recession well before Wall Street started adding jobs. We also consider some questions that this development naturally raises: What took Wall Street employment so long to recover? What’s been driving job generation on Main Street? What does the recent pickup in Wall Street employment suggest about the outlook for the city’s economy?