Sunday , November 29 2020
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Tag Archives: Uncategorized

Let’s talk turkey prices : …as well as prices in Turkey

[embedded content] If you know this blog, you may have been expecting a holiday-themed post this week. We did our best, but—spoiler alert—it’s a bait and switch. We don’t have any recent price data on turkey meat. What we do have are recent price data on meat in Turkey. And, as you can see from the FRED graph above, that nation suffers from chronically high price inflation. (FYI: FRED has over 2,000 series of Turkish data.) This year, Thanksgiving is more challenging in the U.S. not...

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The state of decline in retail sales : Using new Census data to compare U.S. states

View on GeoFRED® FRED recently added more new data from the Census Bureau: 11 categories of retail sales for U.S. states. A previous post looked at national declines in retail sales, and national data continue to show the pandemic’s damaging effects on this sector. As with most economic measures, though, the effects aren’t equally distributed across the nation. So let’s use GeoFRED maps to examine individual state experiences—specifically, July 2020 sales compared with July 2019 sales...

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Replicating economic research…on gasoline affordability

[embedded content] Here at the FRED Blog, we believe it’s important to be able to replicate economic analysis, which begins by identifying the data used in that analysis. That’s why FRED Blog posts include a list of the data series used to build the graphs. Moreover, all FRED data series themselves include a suggested citation. The FRED graph above can help us reproduce some research published in our Economic Synopses series: “Gasoline Affordability.” The essay, published in 2004,...

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Are we still in a recession? : What to expect from the NBER business cycle dating committee

[embedded content] The Downturn and Rebound April 29, 2020: In its advance estimate, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that real GDP for the first quarter of 2020 fell at a 4.8% annual rate. May 8, 2020: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payrolls fell by 20.5 million in April—the largest one-month percentage decline on record (dating back to 1939). June 8, 2020: The National Bureau of Economic Research Business Cycle Dating Committee (NBER BCDC) announced...

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From inflation targeting to average inflation targeting : The Fed’s new long-run monetary framework

[embedded content] Since 1996, it has been understood among Fed policymakers that the (undeclared) target for inflation was around 2%. In January 2012, Chairman Ben Bernanke made this implicit inflation target explicit and official, thereby aligning the Fed’s inflation target with that of all the major central banks. In this framework, when inflation has approached or exceeded the traditional 2% target, even temporarily as it did in 2018, the FOMC has responded by raising the baseline...

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How to read Indeed job posting data

[embedded content] Tracking the availability of new jobs is no easy task. But FRED recently added online job postings data from Indeed. These data are presented in an interesting way, so some explanation is in order. First, the data cover a 7-day moving average of job postings on Indeed.com as well as other online platforms. Indeed makes every effort to remove duplicate job postings from these counts, but doesn’t include job postings that are not found online. The proportion of online...

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The COVID-19-induced “she-cession” : BLS data show more employment losses for women

[embedded content] Economic downturns have tended to affect men’s employment more than women’s, which gave rise to terms such as “he-cession” or “man-cession” and “he-covery.” Although this dynamic was true at the time of the Great Recession, it doesn’t hold true for the COVID-19-induced recession. The FRED graph above displays data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: monthly, seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for men and women from January 2007 to September 2020. During the...

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The impact of COVID-19 on U.S. states’ economic activity : State-level GDP data show the second quarter was much worse than the first

View on GeoFRED® GDP comes in various forms—for the nation as a whole and also for individual U.S. states. The map above shows the change in real GDP in each U.S. state for the first quarter of 2020. This was at the start of the pandemic, and some states were hit hard. The worst declines were in Louisiana (-11.91%), Delaware (-11.43%), Wyoming (-10.53%), Hawaii (-8.92%), Wisconsin (-8.76%), South Carolina (-8.24%), and Michigan (-7.94%). The hope at the time was that this slump would be...

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Employment losses are largest for the least educated

[embedded content] The FRED Blog has discussed how unemployment rates are inversely related to educational attainment and how they change during recessions. In short: Workers with more education are richer in so-called human capital and tend to be able to adapt more easily to changes in large-scale labor market conditions. The FRED graph above shows employment levels after the COVID-19-related recession began. The length of the bars represents the percent change,  relative to a year...

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The state of the economy, weekly

[embedded content] Measuring the condition of an economy isn’t easy. The most reliable indicators are computed and released only quarterly or yearly, and then with a considerable lag. They are also subject to revisions. For a policymaker or anyone needing to observe and assess the economy, this can be very frustrating. Fortunately, FRED provides access to some series that have higher frequency (weekly or even daily), are released faster, and don’t need revisions. Individually, these...

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