Econ Focus

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.

Region Focus



First Quarter 2010

The New Normal?

Cover Story

The New Normal? Economists ponder whether the "natural" rate of unemployment has risen

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.
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Shoppers for the Long Haul: The past, present, and future of consumption

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.
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The National Headcount: Census emphasizes outreach to improve accuracy

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.

Nobody's Home: Weighing the prospects for neighborhoods hit hard by foreclosure

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.
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Department Article Additional Resources
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
Jargon Alert Counterfactual 
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
Contact Us


Aaron Steelman
Publications Director
(804) 697-2658