Steering Toward Sustainable Growth
Presentation to the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Spring Outlook 2022,April 20, 2022, by Mary C. Daly, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Housing Demand and Remote Work
What explains record U.S. house price growth since late 2019? We show that the shift to remote work explains over one half of the 23.8 percent national house price increase over this period. Using variation in remote work exposure across U.S. metropolitan areas we estimate that an additional percentage point of remote work causes a 0.93 percent increase in house prices after controlling for negative spillovers from migration. This cross-sectional estimate combined with the aggregate shift to remote work implies that remote work raised aggregate U.S. house prices by 15.1 percent. Using a model ...
This Time Is Different…Because We Are
The Federal Reserve has evolved since the “Great Inflation” of the 1970s. With new tools and a deeper understanding of the importance of transparency, it is better prepared to meet the dual mandate goals of price stability and full employment, even in challenging times.
Untangling Persistent versus Transitory Shocks to Inflation
How much persistent versus transitory forces contribute to inflation influences the Federal Reserve’s ability to achieve its goal of 2% average inflation over time. If elevated inflation is driven mainly by persistent shocks, then a stronger and longer-lasting policy response is likely to be needed to bring inflation back down. Recent data show that consecutive changes in monthly inflation rates have tended to move increasingly in the same direction. This pattern suggests that the contribution of persistent shocks to inflation has been rising since mid-2019.
Employment Effects of COVID-19 across States, Sectors
The COVID-19 pandemic generated sharp losses in employment in early 2020, followed by a partial but incomplete recovery that continues to this day. The effects on employment in business sectors that produce goods and those that provide services varied substantially across states. This was the case during both the initial drop and the subsequent recovery. The extent of the cross-state variation and how the variation has evolved over time has been unlike any past recessions, making the pandemic recession and recovery unprecedented in both its severity and its uneven impact.
Current Recession Risk According to the Yield Curve
The slope of the Treasury yield curve is a popular recession predictor with an excellent track record. The two most common alternative measures of the slope typically move together but have diverged recently, making the resulting recession signals unclear. Economic arguments and empirical evidence, including its more accurate predictions, favor the difference between 10-year and 3-month Treasury securities. Recession probabilities for the next year derived from this spread so far remain modest.
Lessons Learned from Small Business Lending During COVID-19: A Case Study of the California Rebuilding Fund
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced California businesses to shut down in March 2020, the fate of small businesses, which often had fewer reserves to draw upon when trying to survive the shutdowns, became particularly concerning. Federal aid measures, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), brought relief to many business owners, but their deployment also confirmed what many small business advocates feared: business owners in the most vulnerable communities and underrepresented business owners often struggled to obtain assistance. At the same time, small business lending capital dried ...
Is the American Rescue Plan Taking Us Back to the ’60s?
The American Rescue Plan provided fiscal support during a strong economic rebound, raising concerns about the risk of fueling inflation. One way to assess this risk of economic overheating uses the ratio of job vacancies to unemployment, which measures labor market slack more accurately and, hence, can predict future inflation better than the unemployment rate alone. Estimates suggest that the fiscal plan acts to temporarily raise the vacancy-to- unemployment ratio, in turn pushing up inflation by about 0.3 percentage point per year through 2022.
“Great Resignations” Are Common During Fast Recoveries
The record percentage of workers who are quitting their jobs, known as the “Great Resignation,” is not a shift in worker attitudes in the wake of the pandemic. Evidence on which workers are quitting suggests that it reflects the strong rebound of the demand for younger and less-educated workers. Historical data on quits in manufacturing suggest that the current wave is not unusual. Waves of job quits have occurred during all fast recoveries in the postwar period.
Pandemic Unemployment Effects across Demographic Groups
Workers in service industries and occupations with a lot of close social contact suffered the highest job losses during the pandemic recession. This differed from previous downturns, which tended to have their most severe effects on industries with high concentrations of manual labor. As a result, the unemployment impact of the pandemic on different demographic groups has not followed historical patterns, particularly for Asian, Black, and female workers. The unemployment gap between these racial groups has not been as wide as previous economic fluctuations would have predicted.