Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

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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.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

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

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Brad Setser:  Follow the Money

October 25, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1686663

Back in 2005, when Ben Bernanke first warned of the risk of a global savings glut, the combined savings rate of Asia’s main “surplus” economies (China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore) equaled 35 percent or so of their collective GDP.

That number now? About 40 percent.

October 24, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1686255

The most valuable indicators of China’s intervention in the foreign exchange (FX) market are now out, and both point to a pick-up in sales in September, and more generally in Q3.

The data on FX settlement shows $27b in sales in September, and around $50b ...

October 21, 2016, 2:34 pm, 1685713

In earlier posts, Emma Smith and I added up central bank purchases of G-4 government bonds. This includes emerging market, Japanese and Swiss purchases for reserve accumulation and purchases by the Fed, Bank of Japan, European Central Bank and Bank of England during periods of quantitative easing (QE).

In ...

October 18, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1684704

In an earlier post, I added reserve purchases by the world’s major emerging market central banks, Japan and Switzerland to the bonds purchases by the Fed, the BoJ, the ECB and Bank of England. I wanted to highlight that the central banks of the world were buying a lot ...

October 17, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1684354

Most analysis of China’s economy emphasizes the risks posed by China’s high level of investment, and the associated rise in corporate debt.

Investment is an unusually large share of China’s economy. That high level of investment is sustained by a very rapid growth in credit, and an ever-growing stock ...

October 14, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1683848

I liked John Authers’ FT column on China, and basically agree with it.

The chart showing the correction in the yuan’s value against a broad trade-weighted index is especially helpful. A lot depends on the particular index you use, but there should be no doubt that a significant part of the ...

October 14, 2016, 2:34 pm, 1683768

The Financial Times’ Big Read feature on hidden trade barriers included a chart showing the growth in trade relative to the growth of the world economy. The graph showed, accurately, that trade is now growing a bit more slowly than the world economy.

The question is why.

A relatively simple adjustment helps ...

October 13, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1683458

The 5.6 percent fall—in the yuan data—in China’s September exports was a surprise. Exports had been rising in yuan terms, and in volume terms, since March. I expected the rise to continue, largely because the pickup in volumes is consistent with the expected impact of the 8 percent fall in the ...

October 11, 2016, 10:34 am, 1682683

China’s headline reserves dipped by about $19 billion in September, dropping below $3.2 trillion. Adjust for foreign exchange changes, and the underlying fall is widely estimated to be a bit more—around $25 billion.

Press coverage emphasized that the fall “exceeded expectations.” To me that suggests “expectations” on China’s reserves ...

October 7, 2016, 2:34 pm, 1681835

I have argued that China’s current account surplus may paint a misleading picture of China’s trade position, as it isn’t clear that tourism imports have really increased from a bit over $100 billion to a bit over $300 billion in 10 quarters (the number of tourists travelling abroad has ...