Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

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Jobs

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 .


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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?


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EconModel

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The Classic Economic Models cover micro, macro, and financial markets.


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Brad Setser:  Follow the Money


August 25, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1667685

It turns out Germany has fiscal space even by German standards!

Germany’s federal government posted a 1.2 percent of GDP fiscal surplus in the first half of 2016. The IMF was forecasting the federal surplus of 0.3 percent (and a general government deficit of 0.1 percent of GDP)—see table 2, ...


August 24, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1667321

China’s deficit in tourism is over 40 percent of China’s goods surplus (the other parts of services trade are in rough balance; China’s services deficit is for now all tourism); the tourism deficit is one of the main reasons why the rise in China’s goods surplus hasn’t led to a ...


August 23, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1666890

In theory, the IMF now wants current account surplus countries to rely more heavily on fiscal stimulus and less on monetary stimulus.

This shift makes sense in a world marked by low interest rates, the risk that surplus countries will export liquidity traps to deficit economies, and concerns about ...


August 22, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1666544

China is running a persistent current account surplus, one that could be larger than officially reported (the huge tourism deficit looks a bit suspicious).

If China paid off all its external debt, it would still have around $2 trillion in reserves.* If it paid off all its short-term debt, it would ...


August 18, 2016, 8:34 pm, 1665767

A common explanation for low Treasury yields is that low rates outside the U.S. have piled into the U.S. market, as investors in Europe, Japan and elsewhere look to the U.S. for a reasonable mix of safety and yield.

That is part of what Gavyn Davies, in one of his typically ...


August 17, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1665334

The proxies for China’s foreign exchange intervention in July are now available, and they point to $20 to $30 billion of reserve sales.

The PBOC’s foreign assets fell by about $23 billion (The PBOC’s foreign reserves, as reported on the PBOC’s renminbi balance sheet, fell by $29 billion; I prefer the ...


August 16, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1665000

U.S. nominal goods exports, excluding petrol, fell by around 6 percent in the first half of 2016, relative to the first half of 2016 (source).

U.S. nominal goods imports, excluding petrol, fell by just under 3 percent in the first half of 2016, relative to the first half of 2015.

(Nominal ...


August 1, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1659690

The eurozone collectively has a substantial external surplus, and its economy is operating below potential. In the framework set out in the IMF’s external balance assessment, that pretty clearly calls for fiscal expansion:

“Surplus countries that have domestic slack need to rely more on fiscal policy easing, which would address ...


July 28, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1658289

Here are two views of China’s (goods) trade. Both use the exact same data.

The first presents China’s goods exports and imports as a share of the rest of the world’s GDP:

The second presents China’s goods exports and imports as a share of China’s ...


July 28, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1658288

Several times I have alluded to the suspicious rise in China’s tourism deficit. The tourism deficit more than explains the rise in China’s services deficit, and the rise in the services deficit explains why the increase in China’s current account surplus hasn’t tracked the increase in China’s goods surplus.

Why the ...