Economics Roundtable

Database Maintenance 7/4/15

Routine database maintenance will induce some duplicated items for the next day or two.

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


The best summary of the state of our economy is the graph (below) of employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old. The decrease is large, but the most troubling feature of the graph is the flat trend .

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

Donald Marron likes European interest rates. Click on the image to get a bigger version. Can you find three distinct subperiods?

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.

Remember M1?

Money Supply M1 growth is now over 20% per year over a 12 month lag. M1 growth has touched 20% before, but not with excess reserves of $1.6 trillion. Where is M1 headed?

Click on the chart for a larger version.


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EconBrowser (James Hamilton)

"Analysis of current economic conditions and policy”

July 28, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1517331

No surprise, Minnesota beats Wisconsin, again.

Some individuals have touted trends in Wisconsin’s median household income relative to Minnesota and the Nation. The Census Bureau warns researchers from doing intertemporal comparisons using the standard series (e.g., on FRED), given data breaks due to different methods of interpolation. Here I ...

July 28, 2015, 3:03 am, 1516673

This headline “US Recession Imminent – Durable Goods Drop For 5th Month, Core CapEx Collapses”, following on “Forget Recession: According To Caterpillar There Is A Full-Blown Global Depression”, impelled me to check to see if I’d missed something.

Term Spreads

The first thing that I wanted to inspect ...

July 28, 2015, 1:03 am, 1516631

From WaPo:

“Wisconsin’s doing terribly. It’s in turmoil. The roads are a disaster because they don’t have any money to rebuild them. They’re borrowing money like crazy. They projected a $1 billion surplus, and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion. The schools are a disaster. The ...

July 25, 2015, 11:03 am, 1515579

New claims for unemployment insurance this week came in at the lowest level in over 40 years. How much slack can there be left in the labor market?

July 24, 2015, 3:03 am, 1514856

Today we are fortunate to present a guest contribution written by Ali Alichi, senior economist at the International Monetary Fund. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its management, nor its Executive Board.

July 24, 2015, 1:03 am, 1514790

In today’s WSJ, Justin Lahart notes “China Wind Chills U.S. Earnings”, and presents an interesting graph of import prices, which inspired me to look more closely at the issue.

In Figure 1, I reproduce the graph, with a slightly longer time span, augmented with the Chinese producer price index.

July 23, 2015, 3:03 am, 1514032

Today we are fortunate to have a guest contribution written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard University, and former Member of the Council of Economic Advisers, 1997-99. An earlier version was published in Project Syndicate.

Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, ...

July 21, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1512938

Employment and hours downturns in Wisconsin and Kansas continue. The Wisconsin economic downturn continues along several dimensions (with the labor force now declining).

Figures 1-4 show private nonfarm payroll employment and aggregate hours for California, Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Figure 1: California ...

July 21, 2015, 1:03 am, 1512494

That’s the topic of a conference sponsored and hosted by the Swiss National Bank and co-sponsored with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Dallas Fed, the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), and the Journal of International Money and Finance.

July 19, 2015, 11:03 am, 1511794

I spent the last two weeks in Boston at the NBER Summer Institute where I learned about a lot of interesting new economic research. Here I describe a new paper by Jae Song, David Price, Fatih Guvenen, Nicholas Bloom, and Till von Wachter on the role of firm-specific ...