Econ Focus (formerly Region Focus) is the economics magazine of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. It covers economic issues affecting the Fifth Federal Reserve District and the nation and is published on a quarterly basis by the Bank's Research Department.
Economists often speak of a natural rate of unemployment that the economy tends to gravitate toward over the long run. But if the natural rate has risen lately, as some economists suspect, then unemployment may not fall anytime soon to the levels seen before the recent downturn.
Consumer activity still represents the biggest chunk of the nation's output, but the economic downturn has dampened the enthusiasm of U.S. shoppers. What has influenced previous patterns of consumption and how might that help inform expectations about future consumption trends.
It's difficult to count everyone during the nationwide decennial census. The Census Bureau, using federal stimulus money, has decided to expand its outreach to increase the response rate of those who have been overlooked in past counts.
A historically large number of homes are vacant across the Fifth District, some from recent foreclosures, some from long-term decline in local economies. How to explain and to cope with the potentially deleterious effects these homes may have on localities has become an important question for community leaders and policymakers.
|President's Message||Expectations and Monetary Policy|
|Upfront||Economic News Across the Region|
|Federal Reserve||Central Banking and the Merits of a Federated Structure||Related Links|
|Research Spotlight||A Tale of Two Fed Banks||Related Links|
|Policy Update||Federal Debt Limit Raised to Cover Shortfalls||Related Links|
|Around the Fed||Stock Market Investing Is a Family Affair||Related Links|
|Economic History||The Lessons of Jamestown||Related Links|
|Interview||David Friedman||Related Links|
|Book Review||A History of the Federal Reserve: Volume 2|
|District Digest||Small Business Employment in the Fifth District and the Impact of Recessions|
|Opinion||Deregulation Should Not Be Blamed for the Financial Crisis|