• Average interest rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declines for a second straight week, falling to 2.44%—the lowest rate in @FreddieMac’s survey dating back to 1991 Link https://t.co/CgQD3zSyRC
    St. Louis Fed Thu 06 Aug 2020 22:39
  • Beatrice Weder di Mauro, president of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, grew up witnessing two diverse economies Link
    St. Louis Fed Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:34

    Beatrice Weder di Mauro, president of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, had ties to two countries while growing up. She lived in Guatemala but was born in Switzerland, so she went back to Switzerland at times to visit her grandparents. She noticed the income disparity between the countries, which was one of the factors that drew her to the field of economics.

    “I was confronted with a huge gap in income between Switzerland and Guatemala,” Weder di Mauro said. “Not only in income but also in trajectory because Guatemala is one of those countries that really has not succeeded in improving its quality of life for its people over decades. So, that certainly was one of the inspirations for studying economics. Because it became clear to me that this has a lot to do with good and bad policies.”

  • Understanding the Fed’s policy tools, post-financial crisis, provides a foundation for understanding actions the central bank is taking amid COVID-19 Link https://t.co/0upT2Uxw2M
    St. Louis Fed Thu 06 Aug 2020 20:04

    By Jane Ihrig, Senior Adviser, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and Scott Wolla, Economic Education Coordinator, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Do you remember the economics course you took in high school or college? You might recall memorizing the three tools of monetary policy that help the Federal Reserve achieve its congressional mandate of maximum employment and price stability.

    The story went something like this: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is the main policymaking body of the Fed, sets a desired target for the federal funds rate (FFR) to move the economy toward the dual mandate. The Fed uses its monetary policy tools to influence the supply of money and credit in the economy. It does this primarily by using daily open market operations. When the Fed buys or sells U.S. government securities, it increases or decreases the level (or supply) of reserves in the banking system. (Reserves are the cash banks hold in their vaults plus...

  • During a virtual event hosted by our Memphis Branch, St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard outlined a scenario for how to stabilize the U.S. economy by the end of the year Link
    St. Louis Fed Thu 06 Aug 2020 17:04

    St. Louis Fed President James Bullard gave an overview of how the U.S. economy is interacting with the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic during a virtual event hosted by the St. Louis Fed’s Memphis Branch. He also outlined a scenario for how to stabilize the economy by the end of the year.

    Bullard noted that the U.S. economy surprised to the upside in May and June, but that he would expect less upside surprise with July data. However, the basic story that April was way down and that May and June came back is encouraging and is something to build on in trying to stabilize the economy, he said.

    He also talked about how the economy is continuing to adapt to the new mortality risk posed by COVID-19, and about the use of some basic risk mitigation strategies. Another development that likely will help is better therapeutics for treating the disease, he added.

    “All of this suggests a path going forward that can lead to stabilization in the U.S. economy by the end...

  • An analysis suggests that the recent recovery in U.S. jobs has halted because of the spike in COVID-19 cases Link https://t.co/XSCri5ZfTa
    St. Louis Fed Thu 06 Aug 2020 14:54

    By Maximiliano Dvorkin, Senior Economist, and Asha Bharadwaj, Research Associate

    The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect employment across the United States. In a previous blog post, we explored the idea of forecasting weekly changes in employment using data from Homebase, a data set that reports changes in employment daily. In this article, we discuss our updated forecasts for employment using this technique and investigate whether the recent changes in the labor market are related to the spike in COVID-19 cases across the country since June.

    The correlation between the Homebase data and the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) continues to be very high. The figure below shows the evolution of the change in CPS employment, relative to January 2020, as predicted by our coincident employment index. (For more on the index, see our earlier blog post.)

  • Lisa enjoys bringing organizations together to encourage small business development across our Eighth Federal Reserve District. Link #STLFedCD https://t.co/4N2EeDbAk3
    St. Louis Fed Thu 06 Aug 2020 12:04

    By Laura Hopper, Public Affairs Staff

    Colleagues who work in the St. Louis Fed’s Community Development department focus on economic opportunity and fair, equal access to credit.

    Lisa Locke is vital to that effort. As a Community Development advisor, her role centers on promoting small business development and entrepreneurship.

  • Read summaries of newly published federal banking rules or guidance for U.S. depository institutions Link
    St. Louis Fed Thu 06 Aug 2020 03:48
  • Understanding the Fed’s policy tools, post-financial crisis, provides a foundation for understanding actions the central bank is taking amid COVID-19 Link https://t.co/RPplEKfTEZ
    St. Louis Fed Thu 06 Aug 2020 02:38

    By Jane Ihrig, Senior Adviser, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and Scott Wolla, Economic Education Coordinator, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Do you remember the economics course you took in high school or college? You might recall memorizing the three tools of monetary policy that help the Federal Reserve achieve its congressional mandate of maximum employment and price stability.

    The story went something like this: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is the main policymaking body of the Fed, sets a desired target for the federal funds rate (FFR) to move the economy toward the dual mandate. The Fed uses its monetary policy tools to influence the supply of money and credit in the economy. It does this primarily by using daily open market operations. When the Fed buys or sells U.S. government securities, it increases or decreases the level (or supply) of reserves in the banking system. (Reserves are the cash banks hold in their vaults plus...

  • As of Aug. 3, daily spot prices for Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude oil were $43.76 and $40.83 per barrel, respectively. See FRED for more spot prices from @EIAgov: Link https://t.co/66Bv0aMG5H
    St. Louis Fed Thu 06 Aug 2020 01:13
  • The U.S. trade deficit narrowed for the first time in four months in June, shrinking 7.5% to $50.7 billion. See release tables from the Commerce Department report in FRED: Link https://t.co/Jn8IvYA629
    St. Louis Fed Thu 06 Aug 2020 00:18
  • If work in one country can be off-shored more cheaply in another, it usually is. As offshore technology improves, wages may decrease in both countries as more work is completed by unregulated workers Link
    St. Louis Fed Wed 05 Aug 2020 22:43
  • In recent years, the Fed has changed how it implements monetary policy. A special issue of Page One Economics contrasts the old and new policy tools Link https://t.co/TWdp0dAQGm
    St. Louis Fed Wed 05 Aug 2020 21:33

    "The Federal Reserve sets two overnight interest rates: the interest rate paid on banks' reserve balances and the rate on our reverse repurchase agreements. We use these two administered rates to keep a market--determined rate, the federal funds rate, within a target range set by the FOMC." —Jerome Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve1

    Description

    The Federal Reserve (the Fed) and its monetary policy tools have a significant presence in economics standards, textbooks, and curricula. The Fed has changed the way it implements monetary policy, but many of the recent changes are not reflected in teaching resources. This special issue of Page One Economics® is intended to provide information and teaching guidance for educators as they transition to teaching about the new tools of monetary policy. 

    Introduction

    The Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, has a Congres­sional mandate to promote maximum employment...

  • St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard gave an overview of how the U.S. economy is interacting with the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic during a virtual event hosted by our Memphis Branch Link
    St. Louis Fed Wed 05 Aug 2020 20:03

    St. Louis Fed President James Bullard gave an overview of how the U.S. economy is interacting with the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic during a virtual event hosted by the St. Louis Fed’s Memphis Branch. He also outlined a scenario for how to stabilize the economy by the end of the year.

    Bullard noted that the U.S. economy surprised to the upside in May and June, but that he would expect less upside surprise with July data. However, the basic story that April was way down and that May and June came back is encouraging and is something to build on in trying to stabilize the economy, he said.

    He also talked about how the economy is continuing to adapt to the new mortality risk posed by COVID-19, and about the use of some basic risk mitigation strategies. Another development that likely will help is better therapeutics for treating the disease, he added.

    “All of this suggests a path going forward that can lead to stabilization in the U.S. economy by the end...

  • We’re busy planning the 2021 #WomeninEconomics Symposium. Past attendees, help us make this event even better! Please share your thoughts here: Link https://t.co/f3KCDVB6nl
    St. Louis Fed Wed 05 Aug 2020 17:58
  • What difference does a FICO score make? The FRED Blog measures the difference in mortgage rates between the highest and lowest scores Link https://t.co/dxM3MsFbLN
    St. Louis Fed Wed 05 Aug 2020 14:33

    FRED now offers Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices, which provide a more-detailed look at mortgage rates. These indices are computed daily from actual mortgage closings and cover about 35% of the U.S. market.

    The FRED graph above compares the weekly rates from Freddie Mac (red line) and from Optimal Blue (blue line). The latter also covers mortgages that aren’t managed by Freddie Mac, but with the restriction that they must be “conformable”—that is, the loan amount can’t exceed the limit for the property and its location.

  • Changes in payroll employment represent gains/losses in total employment and are an indicator of overall economic conditions. In this interactive lesson, your students will visualize data and play our award-winning FREDcast forecasting game Link https://t.co/R7blu3EgsR
    St. Louis Fed Wed 05 Aug 2020 12:23

    Changes in payroll employment represent gains or losses in total employment and are a good indicator of overall economic conditions. In this interactive lesson, students learn to visualize the change in payroll employment and use a FRED graph to play the FREDcast forecasting game.

  • Has the recent spike in COVID-19 cases affected the recovery in U.S. jobs? Link https://t.co/zAngudTnsv
    St. Louis Fed Wed 05 Aug 2020 03:57

    By Maximiliano Dvorkin, Senior Economist, and Asha Bharadwaj, Research Associate

    The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect employment across the United States. In a previous blog post, we explored the idea of forecasting weekly changes in employment using data from Homebase, a data set that reports changes in employment daily. In this article, we discuss our updated forecasts for employment using this technique and investigate whether the recent changes in the labor market are related to the spike in COVID-19 cases across the country since June.

    The correlation between the Homebase data and the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) continues to be very high. The figure below shows the evolution of the change in CPS employment, relative to January 2020, as predicted by our coincident employment index. (For more on the index, see our earlier blog post.)

  • FRED has new, detailed mortgage rate data to help you make sense of the market, and the FRED Blog explains a few of the details Link https://t.co/0lLm31IM92
    St. Louis Fed Wed 05 Aug 2020 02:37

    FRED now offers Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices, which provide a more-detailed look at mortgage rates. These indices are computed daily from actual mortgage closings and cover about 35% of the U.S. market.

    The FRED graph above compares the weekly rates from Freddie Mac (red line) and from Optimal Blue (blue line). The latter also covers mortgages that aren’t managed by Freddie Mac, but with the restriction that they must be “conformable”—that is, the loan amount can’t exceed the limit for the property and its location.

  • In recent years, the Fed has changed how it implements monetary policy. A special issue of Page One Economics contrasts the old and new policy tools Link https://t.co/Fl7OB7rw5r
    St. Louis Fed Wed 05 Aug 2020 01:07

    "The Federal Reserve sets two overnight interest rates: the interest rate paid on banks' reserve balances and the rate on our reverse repurchase agreements. We use these two administered rates to keep a market--determined rate, the federal funds rate, within a target range set by the FOMC." —Jerome Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve1

    Description

    The Federal Reserve (the Fed) and its monetary policy tools have a significant presence in economics standards, textbooks, and curricula. The Fed has changed the way it implements monetary policy, but many of the recent changes are not reflected in teaching resources. This special issue of Page One Economics® is intended to provide information and teaching guidance for educators as they transition to teaching about the new tools of monetary policy. 

    Introduction

    The Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, has a Congres­sional mandate to promote maximum employment...

  • An analysis suggests that the recent recovery in U.S. jobs has halted because of the spike in COVID-19 cases Link https://t.co/LFfzm6R0yY
    St. Louis Fed Tue 04 Aug 2020 23:52

    By Maximiliano Dvorkin, Senior Economist, and Asha Bharadwaj, Research Associate

    The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect employment across the United States. In a previous blog post, we explored the idea of forecasting weekly changes in employment using data from Homebase, a data set that reports changes in employment daily. In this article, we discuss our updated forecasts for employment using this technique and investigate whether the recent changes in the labor market are related to the spike in COVID-19 cases across the country since June.

    The correlation between the Homebase data and the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) continues to be very high. The figure below shows the evolution of the change in CPS employment, relative to January 2020, as predicted by our coincident employment index. (For more on the index, see our earlier blog post.)

  • Average U.S. fuel prices per gallon are little changed in the week ending Aug. 3, with diesel at $2.424 and gasoline at $2.176 Link https://t.co/BpQjrIsd8W
    St. Louis Fed Tue 04 Aug 2020 22:47
  • What difference does a FICO score make? The FRED Blog measures the difference in mortgage rates between the highest and lowest scores Link https://t.co/LDQ3E1xwCX
    St. Louis Fed Tue 04 Aug 2020 21:32

    FRED now offers Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices, which provide a more-detailed look at mortgage rates. These indices are computed daily from actual mortgage closings and cover about 35% of the U.S. market.

    The FRED graph above compares the weekly rates from Freddie Mac (red line) and from Optimal Blue (blue line). The latter also covers mortgages that aren’t managed by Freddie Mac, but with the restriction that they must be “conformable”—that is, the loan amount can’t exceed the limit for the property and its location.

  • Black and Hispanic families, people without a bachelor’s degree, and Gen X and younger are experiencing the highest rates of housing distress Link https://t.co/xWs1hhFPcz
    St. Louis Fed Tue 04 Aug 2020 20:22

    By Lowell Ricketts, Lead Analyst, Center for Household Financial Stability

    Housing distress is on the rise among both renters and homeowners. Worse, it seems to be concentrated among groups that often exhibit other economic fragilities.

    For many families, diminished economic activity during the pandemic has caused a pervasive income shock or sudden and potentially lasting loss of household income. Families with emergency savings are more likely to avoid hardships such as falling behind on bills. For those who do not have (or have exhausted) emergency funds, falling behind on rent or mortgage payments carries the risk of eviction or foreclosure.

    As of late July (July 16-21), 12.5% of Americans were experiencing housing distress. (That is, they were late on their rent or mortgage payments, or their payments were deferred.) Loss of housing is similarly disruptive to both renters and owners on many dimensions. For homeowners, however, a foreclosure can...

  • Learn how Lisa Locke and our #communitydevelopment team help promote small business development and entrepreneurship: Link #STLFedCD https://t.co/1GZLsE1JHJ
    St. Louis Fed Tue 04 Aug 2020 17:32

    By Laura Hopper, Public Affairs Staff

    Colleagues who work in the St. Louis Fed’s Community Development department focus on economic opportunity and fair, equal access to credit.

    Lisa Locke is vital to that effort. As a Community Development advisor, her role centers on promoting small business development and entrepreneurship.

  • If work in one country can be off-shored more cheaply in another, it usually is. As offshore technology improves, wages may decrease in both countries as more work is completed by unregulated workers Link
    St. Louis Fed Tue 04 Aug 2020 14:42
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