• S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 cities reported a year-over-year gain of 3.9% in March, up from 3.5% in the prior month Link https://t.co/e3PyILKg5f
    St. Louis Fed Sat 30 May 2020 12:49
  • Immigrant workers in the U.S. bring their knowledge of foreign markets and customs, which might be boosting international trade and U.S. GDP Link https://t.co/sapz58MNfp
    St. Louis Fed Sat 30 May 2020 04:24

    Some U.S. states appear to import and export more manufactured goods than others. Might immigrant workers play a role?

    Immigrants bring with them knowledge of foreign languages, markets, and customs, potentially making it easier for them to form business connections abroad and increase exports of manufactured goods. Similarly, their familiarity with foreign goods or processes might improve domestic production, increasing imports of manufactured goods. Additionally, skilled immigrants may increase the productivity of domestic firms and make domestic firms more competitive internationally, facilitating additional trade. 

    There might be other noncausal reasons why immigrant intensity and trade intensity could be correlated, however. For instance, border states or those with coastlines might be likely to trade more internationally while also being more likely to have more foreign-born workers. The goal of this essay is to document the empirical relation...

  • In April, the nation’s personal saving rate (as a percentage of disposable personal income) climbed to 33%—the highest rate in @BEA_News records dating back to 1959 Link https://t.co/qtAKmGJ7UG
    St. Louis Fed Sat 30 May 2020 03:44
  • In April, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index—a measure of U.S. inflation—rose 0.5% from a year earlier. The core PCE index, which excludes food and energy costs, edged up 1.0% Link https://t.co/k5dh5TJeqy
    St. Louis Fed Sat 30 May 2020 02:39
  • On May 29, the St. Louis Fed Economic News Index was forecasting #realGDP in Q2 of -49.75% at an annual rate. See FRED for details on how the “nowcast” is constructed: Link https://t.co/4omL5DHi7m
    St. Louis Fed Sat 30 May 2020 01:19
  • Commercial paper outstanding dips to $1.051 trillion in the latest reporting week Link https://t.co/rLa89ANkd6
    St. Louis Fed Sat 30 May 2020 00:44
  • 2.123 million initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits were filed in the latest week, a 13.2% decline from the previous week Link https://t.co/La2lnXK9wT
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 23:54
  • Personal consumption expenditures, a measure of household spending, fell by a record 13.6% in April. Personal income rose 10.5%, primarily reflecting an increase in federal economic relief payments. See the @BEA_News release in FRED: Link https://t.co/TLaepHryPV
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 22:39
  • Beige Book: Price pressures in the Eighth District have decreased modestly since the previous report. On net, 16% of contacts reported that prices charged to consumers were lower in the second quarter relative to the same time last year Link
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 21:54

    Economic conditions have declined since mid-April, but at a moderately slower pace. While a very small fraction of firms had closed permanently, around half of firms remain closed temporarily. Among the firms that are closed, about one-third expect to reopen in the next 3 weeks, one-quarter in the next 3 to 5 weeks, one-quarter in the next 5 to 10 weeks, and the remainder in more than 10 weeks. Firms that are reopening are often doing so for training and preparation purposes; less than one-fifth expect demand for their products or services to pick up in the next 5 weeks. Contacts' general outlook for regional economic growth during the remainder of 2020 is pessimistic, as about two-thirds of contacts expect growth to be slower than the same period in 2019. 

    Employment and Wages 

    Labor markets have continued to decline sharply over the reporting period, although the pace of decline has slowed considerably, with some contacts attributing...

  • The latest Central Banker newsletter is out. Check it out online or sign up to get the next issue in two weeks Link https://t.co/5th7wz33Wj
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 20:54

    Want a quick way to keep up with what's new and noteworthy at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, part of our nation's central bank?

    Subscribe to our new monthly e-newsletter to see a sample of what we do: videos, podcasts, essays, infographics and more—on everything from academic research on the economy to practical lessons on personal finance, from community development efforts to conferences about community banking.

    We won't overwhelm you – we'll give you just a handful of notes in each issue, and you can decide whether to follow the links for "the full story."

  • St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard discussed two solutions to the crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic during a C.D. Howe Institute webinar on May 27 Link
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 20:09

    St. Louis Fed President James Bullard shared his views on the partial-shutdown policy that has been in place for the U.S. economy as an investment in national health. He also discussed two ways to solve the crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic. He spoke during a C.D. Howe Institute webinar.

    Bullard said that the shutdown policy was appropriate initially, but that continuing it too long would risk a financial crisis and would risk depression.

    He then talked about two solutions to the crisis, which he said are happening to some degree already—ubiquitous testing and a risk-based stay-at-home approach. He added that both economic and health outcomes would be better using those two solutions than under the shutdown policy.

    Bullard said the testing would solve an information problem, allowing people to know where the virus was at all times. A highly productive economy that would also have very low fatalities from COVID-19 would result, he added.

    A...

  • Beige Book: Labor markets in the Eighth District have continued to decline sharply over the reporting period, although the pace of decline has slowed considerably Link
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 17:19

    Economic conditions have declined since mid-April, but at a moderately slower pace. While a very small fraction of firms had closed permanently, around half of firms remain closed temporarily. Among the firms that are closed, about one-third expect to reopen in the next 3 weeks, one-quarter in the next 3 to 5 weeks, one-quarter in the next 5 to 10 weeks, and the remainder in more than 10 weeks. Firms that are reopening are often doing so for training and preparation purposes; less than one-fifth expect demand for their products or services to pick up in the next 5 weeks. Contacts' general outlook for regional economic growth during the remainder of 2020 is pessimistic, as about two-thirds of contacts expect growth to be slower than the same period in 2019. 

    Employment and Wages 

    Labor markets have continued to decline sharply over the reporting period, although the pace of decline has slowed considerably, with some contacts attributing...

  • In an article on second-quarter unemployment, St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard also cautions that the shock the economy is experiencing should be interpreted differently from more traditional shocks Link.
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 14:48

    The U.S. economy has been experiencing a partial shutdown as recommended by health authorities in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the second quarter of 2020 will be an unparalleled quarter for U.S. unemployment.

    A St. Louis Fed On the Economy blog post published March 24 used different ways of looking at the number of workers with high-contact jobs to obtain projections for unemployment during this period. The blog post estimated that about 47 million workers could be laid off because of the need for physical distancing to help stem virus transmission. Based on that estimate and a few other assumptions, the unemployment rate in the second quarter would be a staggering 32.1%. However, the unemployment rate could range between 10.5% and 40.6%, depending on more optimistic and less optimistic estimates for the number of at-risk workers.

  • A key component of social distancing—staying at home—seems to be happening nationally during the workweek but not as much on the weekends, according to a new index from @DallasFed Link https://t.co/0gbMJR1How
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 12:48

    By Charles Gascon, Regional Economist, and Kathryn Bokun, Research Associate

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas recently introduced the Social Distancing Index (SDI) using geolocation data constructed at the county, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), state and national levels. The SDI uses seven mobility variables that capture the length of time devices are at home or away as well as the distance devices travel from home. A higher SDI indicates more social distancing.

    In this context, social distancing more accurately reflects individuals’ decisions to stay at home, not necessarily whether other social distancing guidelines—such as maintaining a 6-foot distance—are followed when individuals choose to leave home.

  • New federal banking regulation summaries are available on our resource site. Learn about them here: Link
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 11:48
  • The FRED Blog examines the GDP of Washington, DC, which accounts for 0.7% of U.S. GDP—equal to the combined GDPs of Vermont, Wyoming and Montana Link https://t.co/tkGsiH5lXS
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 04:53

    The FRED Blog’s 600th post concentrates on Washington, DC—partly because “DC” is 600 in Roman numerals, but also because DC’s GDP might surprise you.

    The District of Columbia isn’t a state and is invisible on GeoFRED maps of the U.S., but in many respects it’s treated like a state. At the time of this writing, FRED has 2,001 data series about the District of Columbia, most from state-level sources.

    DC has 0.2% of the U.S. population, which is larger than the population of both Vermont and Wyoming. DC has 0.7% of the nation’s GDP, which is larger than the GDP of 16 states and is equal to the combined GDPs of Vermont, Wyoming, and Montana. The FRED graph above shows DC and 11 of those states with smaller GDP. (We’d show all 16, but FRED graphs limit the number of series to 12.)

    Is this sizeable GDP driven by government? Of course, DC is the nation’s capital and much of the economic activity in DC is from government. But, as the graph below shows,...

  • Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declines to 3.15% in the latest week, the lowest level in @FreddieMac’s survey dating back to 1971 Link https://t.co/XMeeQUEL2Y
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 03:48
  • Read St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard’s article, “Assessing Second-Quarter Unemployment amid the Pandemic” Link
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 03:08

    The U.S. economy has been experiencing a partial shutdown as recommended by health authorities in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the second quarter of 2020 will be an unparalleled quarter for U.S. unemployment.

    A St. Louis Fed On the Economy blog post published March 24 used different ways of looking at the number of workers with high-contact jobs to obtain projections for unemployment during this period. The blog post estimated that about 47 million workers could be laid off because of the need for physical distancing to help stem virus transmission. Based on that estimate and a few other assumptions, the unemployment rate in the second quarter would be a staggering 32.1%. However, the unemployment rate could range between 10.5% and 40.6%, depending on more optimistic and less optimistic estimates for the number of at-risk workers.

  • Average 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decline in the latest week to 2.62%, lowest since May 2013 Link https://t.co/dbiye87G7L
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 02:43
  • What’s 600 in Roman numerals? RT if you know the answer, which also happens to be the focus of the FRED Blog’s 600th post Link https://t.co/LKTmkzkXFn
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 01:23

    The FRED Blog’s 600th post concentrates on Washington, DC—partly because “DC” is 600 in Roman numerals, but also because DC’s GDP might surprise you.

    The District of Columbia isn’t a state and is invisible on GeoFRED maps of the U.S., but in many respects it’s treated like a state. At the time of this writing, FRED has 2,001 data series about the District of Columbia, most from state-level sources.

    DC has 0.2% of the U.S. population, which is larger than the population of both Vermont and Wyoming. DC has 0.7% of the nation’s GDP, which is larger than the GDP of 16 states and is equal to the combined GDPs of Vermont, Wyoming, and Montana. The FRED graph above shows DC and 11 of those states with smaller GDP. (We’d show all 16, but FRED graphs limit the number of series to 12.)

    Is this sizeable GDP driven by government? Of course, DC is the nation’s capital and much of the economic activity in DC is from government. But, as the graph below shows,...

  • St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard looks at some unemployment indicators for the second quarter so far and compares them to estimates from a March blog post Link.
    St. Louis Fed Fri 29 May 2020 00:38

    The U.S. economy has been experiencing a partial shutdown as recommended by health authorities in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the second quarter of 2020 will be an unparalleled quarter for U.S. unemployment.

    A St. Louis Fed On the Economy blog post published March 24 used different ways of looking at the number of workers with high-contact jobs to obtain projections for unemployment during this period. The blog post estimated that about 47 million workers could be laid off because of the need for physical distancing to help stem virus transmission. Based on that estimate and a few other assumptions, the unemployment rate in the second quarter would be a staggering 32.1%. However, the unemployment rate could range between 10.5% and 40.6%, depending on more optimistic and less optimistic estimates for the number of at-risk workers.

  • New orders for U.S. manufacturers’ durable goods declined 17.2% to $170 billion in April, the third drop in four months and steepest since 2014. See FRED for related data and the Census Bureau’s statement on the impact of COVID-19: Link https://t.co/PkRT670oKX
    St. Louis Fed Thu 28 May 2020 23:53
  • St. Louis Fed Financial Stress Index (STLFSI2) eases to 0.1198 in the week ending May 22, its lowest level in three months (0=normal stress). For more on how the index is constructed, see FRED: Link https://t.co/zn6X6nSZfP
    St. Louis Fed Thu 28 May 2020 22:38
  • Per @BEA_News, U.S. #realGDP shrank at an annual rate of 5.0% in the first quarter, a larger contraction than the 4.8% drop reported in the advance reading Link https://t.co/kPXLy3bpI8
    St. Louis Fed Thu 28 May 2020 21:33
  • In the latest Central Banker newsletter: Jobs, affordable housing and generational poverty are top community development issues; a look at U.S. household debt before COVID-19 Link https://t.co/4ZWIOgeJ45
    St. Louis Fed Thu 28 May 2020 20:13
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