News & Announcements Archive

Numbers Don’t Lie? 

By Floyd Norris  The labor market is booming.  The average unemployment rate in 2023 was 3.64%, down a smidgen from the previous year and the lowest for any total year since 1969.  But is that just because fewer people are looking for work, and therefore are not counted as unemployed?    A way to seek that […]

Why Don’t Americans Believe Inflation Is Coming Down? Because (Most) Prices Aren’t

To an economist looking at the government CPI report that came out Tuesday, it is clear that inflation is receding. Over the past 12 months, the overall CPI is up 3.2%, far below the peak annual rate of 9.1% seen in the summer of 2022.  The co-called “core” rate, which excludes  volatile food and energy […]

Financial-Stability QE Can Appreciate the Exchange Rate

By Alessandro Rebucci and Sinem Yagmur Toraman Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, CEPR and NBER Johns Hopkins University, Economics Department On Wednesday September 28, 2022 the Bank of England announced a short-term Gilt purchase program to bail out the UK pension system. The 30-year yield tanked, UK pension funds were rescued, and, quite surprisingly, the […]

A Job Boom That Left Many Out

Job growth in the United States was distinctly uneven for decades before the Pandemic hit, a fact that was emphasized this week when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a list of when each county in the United States reached its highest employment, based on data from 1975 to 2020. It showed that only 27% […]

Steeling Ourselves for Less Steel Use in China

 Herbert Stein, former Chair of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors for R.M. Nixon, reminded his colleagues that “if something cannot go on forever, it will stop”. History is littered with speculators who went broke, betting against clearly unsustainable trends but forgetting that forever is a long time.  Which brings us to the Chinese Real […]

Has the US started to import inflation from Asia? by Melih Firat

Over the last 12 months, inflation has increased 5.4 percent in the US. Stoked by a leap for energy prices and a hefty 4.3 percent rise for core inflation. Throughout most of U.S. post-war history core goods price increases, on average rose at a much slower pace than services prices. Not so over the past […]

Only Two Months of Pain? Not Even Close

The Pandemic recession lasted two months, the National Bureau of Economic Research decided this week—more than a year after the supposed end of the recession in April 2020.  That is the shortest recession ever, according to the NBER, which has a list of 34 recessions going back to 1857. But this recession made up for […]

Does the 2021 Boom Lock the U.S. into 2023-2025 Gloom?

The Congressional Budget Office has issued some dire forecasts about the U.S. economy, which is causing alarm in some quarters.  But do those forecasts make sense? As Andrew Van Dam wrote in the Washington Post: “CBO now projects growth will slow to 1.1 percent in 2023 and an average of 1.2 percent in 2024 and 2025 — […]

Jobs Easy To Get, They Say

Americans are more enthusiastic about the job market than they have been at any time in the past half century. And yet the official unemployment rate is well above what it was during comparable times in the past. The Conference Board, as part of its Consumer Confidence study, each month asks people what they think […]

The Big Jump for the April CPI: Silent on the Inflation Questions that Matter

In a companion CFE blogpost, we acknowledge that the supersized fiscal stimulus enacted earlier this year invites serious angst about accelerating inflation. We make the case that the inflation risks are less worrisome than many conventional economists make them out to be. That said, we certainly accept that such risks are there. But the April […]

Right-Sizing Fiscal Stimulus, when you Factor in Wall Street Realities.

Was the recently enacted Biden stimulus package too large?  Is it likely to produce an economic boom so large that it does real damage?  And is that damage even more likely if President Biden is able to get a lot more spending through Congress? We don’t think so. Using orthodox analysis, it is easy to […]

Some Simple Term Structure Arithmetic

Robert J. Barbera and Jonathan H. Wright We’ve written two pieces recently on Treasury yields amid the COVID recovery.  Wednesday’s  release of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee’s Survey of Economic Projections is an opportunity to review where ten yields are, and where they may be headed. The median FOMC participant projects a funds rate […]