Liberty Street Economics
August 22, 2016

How Do People Revise Their Inflation Expectations?

The New York Fed started releasing results from its Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) three years ago in June 2013. The SCE is a monthly, nationally representative, internet-based survey of a rotating panel of about 1,300 household heads. Its goal, as described in a series of Liberty Street Economics posts, is to collect timely and high-quality information on consumer expectations about a broad range of topics, covering both macroeconomic variables and the household’s own situation. In this post, we look at what drives changes in consumer inflation expectations. Do people respond to changes in recent realized inflation, and to expected and realized changes in prices of salient individual commodities—like gasoline? Understanding what drives inflation expectations is important for the conduct of monetary policy, since it improves a central bank’s ability to assess its own credibility and to evaluate the impact of its policy decisions and communication strategy.

August 19, 2016

Historical Echoes: That’s Where the Celebrity Advertising Was, or the Gentleman Bank Robber

In 1970, New Britain Bank and Trust (inactive as of 1984) ran a television advertisement that starred a real-life bank robber touting a safety feature of its new “face card.” (A History Channel video includes interesting preliminaries about how the journalists obtained the ad; the ad itself starts at 5:44.) Why would this bank be willing to create such an ad? Of course, neither this bank, nor any other bank, nor any Federal Reserve Bank would condone the act of robbing a bank. But this particular thief, the notorious Willie Sutton (1901-80), was different from typical bank robbers. Let’s consider why:

August 18, 2016

Just Released: Job Growth in the Region

At today’s economic press briefing, we provided an update on regional economic conditions, with a particular focus on job growth in the region, and highlighted an important emerging labor market trend: the return of middle-wage jobs.

August 17, 2016

A Closer Look at the Federal Reserve’s Securities Lending Program

The Federal Reserve lends specific Treasury and agency debt securities held in its System Open Market Account (SOMA)—and accepts general Treasury securities as collateral—through its daily securities lending program

Posted at 7:00 am in Financial Markets | Permalink | Comments (2)
August 16, 2016

Just Released: Firms Assess the Effects of the Affordable Care Act

This morning, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released the results of its August 2016 business surveys, including the supplemental survey report on health coverage costs and the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on firms in the region. Health care costs increased 8.5 percent this year and are expected to rise by 10 percent in 2017, based on the median responses of surveyed businesses. Among the more widely mentioned factors that firms said were contributing to higher costs were increased premiums from insurance providers, higher costs for prescription drugs, the ACA, and an aging workforce.

Posted at 8:35 am in Regional Analysis | Permalink | Comments (0)
August 15, 2016

What Drives Forecaster Disagreement about Monetary Policy?

What can disagreement teach us about how private forecasters perceive the conduct of monetary policy? In a previous post, we showed that private forecasters disagree about both the short-term and the long-term evolution of key macroeconomic variables but that the shape of this disagreement differs across time. In contrast to their views on other macroeconomic variables, private forecasters disagree substantially about the level of the federal funds rate that will prevail in the medium to long term but very little on the rate at shorter horizons. In this post, we explore the possible explanations for what drives forecasts of the federal funds rate, especially in the longer run.

August 12, 2016

Puerto Rico’s Evolving Household Debts

Debt and its performance play a critical role in economic development. The enormous increase in mortgage debt that took place during the run-up to the 2007 financial crisis and the contribution of that debt to the crisis underscore the importance of household debt to financial stability and economic growth.

August 11, 2016

Human Capital and Education in Puerto Rico

An important element of human capital is educational attainment. A series of recent papers highlights the importance of the quality of education—which determines the skills actually learned, rather than the number of years spent in a classroom—as a main driver of growth.

August 10, 2016

Puerto Rico’s Shrinking Labor Force Participation

A key concern about Puerto Rico’s prospects is that its labor force participation rate, which is the percentage of the adult population either working or looking for work, has fallen sharply.

August 9, 2016

Just Released: Recent Developments in Consumer Credit Card Borrowing

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today released its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the second quarter of 2016.

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Liberty Street Economics features insight and analysis from New York Fed economists working at the intersection of research and policy. Launched in 2011, the blog takes its name from the Bank’s headquarters at 33 Liberty Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.

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