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June 25, 2024

Would Fed rate cuts improve the outlook for homebuyers? This post examines the potential connection between policy rates and housing affordability.

Recent Posts

June 18, 2024

The stock market is way up, and households know it. A consumption-supporting wealth effect, an overvalued stock market, and expecting strong future output growth are three possible causes.

May 21, 2024

An increase in multifamily housing supply could be contributing to a softening in rents, but historical patterns suggest an upward pressure on rent growth could be in store.

May 14, 2024

Are price increases being experienced across many categories, or is inflation mostly driven by a few stubborn categories? The PCE price index seems to suggest pricing pressure remains broad.

May 7, 2024

Anxiety about possible job loss appears to be associated with actual changes in worker behavior, lowering the frequency of job switching in the economy.

April 16, 2024

In this week's post, we rank districts according to how similar they are to the overall U.S. in terms of the industry composition of their GDP.

April 9, 2024

Temporary losses look to be severe after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and closure of the Port of Baltimore, but there are several reasons to be optimistic about recovery.

April 2, 2024

There's a diverging trend in the recovering housing market. While new single-family housing construction is increasing, multi-family housing unit construction is on the decline.

March 26, 2024

Findings from UM's Survey of Consumers suggest that being affiliated with the political party in power makes consumers more engaged and, in turn, more informed about the state of the economy.

March 5, 2024

Small business performance indicators suggest that consumer demand is resilient and price pressures remain high despite inflation trending down. Measures like these can offer insights into the overall economy's state.

Feb. 27, 2024

Since 2021, there has been a large increase in both the size of the population with disabilities and the disabled labor force participation rate. Expansion of remote work opportunities seems to have contributed to this growth.

Feb. 20, 2024

The increasing share of foreign-born immigrant workers is an important influence on today's labor market landscape. The outlook is highly uncertain if this trend will continue.

Feb. 13, 2024

Due to an increase in labor productivity, strong wage growth is coexisting with encouraging signs of inflation in recent readings. However, productivity growth has historically shown to be volatile.

Feb. 6, 2024

A significant gap has emerged between the growth rate of rent CPI and new renters. An increase in tenant lease renewal and young adults living at home could be related.

Jan. 16, 2024

Data from the monthly Construction Spending Report point to a sustained and robust pace of real private construction spending toward the end of 2023.

Jan. 9, 2024

Labor force participation among older workers is on the rise. Concerns about the sustainability of their finances may explain this happening.

Dec. 19, 2023

Inflation is still above the Fed's target, but the recent deviations from target have been close to what one would expect when the Fed has effectively stabilized inflation around its target.

Nov. 28, 2023

The Michigan Consumer Sentiment index fell to 61.3 in November versus 63.8 in October, seemingly due to high price concerns.

Nov. 14, 2023

This post provides a look at where retail inventory-to-sales ratios may hint at discounts for price-conscious consumers this holiday season.

Nov. 7, 2023

Is it possible durable goods spending will settle above the pre-pandemic trend line? If so, what might this consumption shift mean for the aggregate economy?

Oct. 17, 2023

How does the latest monthly data affect progress versus the Fed's long-run 2 percent average inflation target?

Oct. 10, 2023

Real disposable personal income growth has been negative for the past three months following 11 consecutive months of gains.

Oct. 3, 2023

In this week's post, we explore alternative series that might have been used to measure the strength of consumer demand in the absence of official measures of personal consumption expenditure (PCE).

Sept. 26, 2023

In this week's post, we look at the impact of unions on wage gains for workers and what trends suggest for the road ahead.

Sept. 5, 2023

Out of the many components that make up the PPI, one particularly relevant item from the perspective of shoppers may be the PPI's trade indexes.

Aug. 29, 2023

In three of the last four months, inflation has been within the prediction interval based on data from the pre-pandemic era, when inflation was stable near the Fed's 2 percent target.

Aug. 15, 2023

In our dynamic economy, new businesses are opened, and older businesses shut down continually over time. How does the BLS account for this churn when reporting jobs growth?

Aug. 8, 2023

As the economy continues to normalize from the shock of the pandemic, what changes have we seen in terms of mothers' labor force participation?

Aug. 1, 2023

How do the Fed's interest rate hikes affect bank lending standards? One way to find out is to directly ask banks whether they've tightened lending standards to borrowers.

July 11, 2023

While the level of inflation-adjusted household spending remains high, recent monthly growth rates are no longer as buoyant as before.

June 27, 2023

Household savings have been a tailwind to spending and inflation, but is that tailwind finally dissipating?

June 20, 2023

In this week's post, we look at the data to see which businesses are driving this picture of lean inventories relative to sales.

May 30, 2023

April's advance monthly retail sales report showed consumer demand expanding to kick off the second quarter of 2023. Why do some economists and economy-watchers emphasize these core retail sales?

May 23, 2023

With negotiations still underway, some unconventional ideas are being suggested in case a U.S. spending deal can't be made. Today, we'll look at one such suggestion: minting a high-dollar platinum coin.

May 16, 2023

While auto sales have been trending up over the past several months, we'll look into a couple of reasons why the future may not be so bright.

May 9, 2023

Recent inflation readings continue to come in below their COVID-19 era highs, but has the persistence of inflation also come down?

April 18, 2023

Our preliminary findings suggest that, across industries, the decline in job openings may be more related to hiring challenges rather than quit rates.

April 11, 2023

Smaller businesses' demand for workers has made up a considerable part of the surge in job openings observed over the past two years. But some data suggest that surge is beginning to wane.

April 4, 2023

Indexes of market rents are currently showing a significant slowing versus their peaks in 2022, but the rent and owners' equivalent rent (OER) components of inflation continue to rise.

March 28, 2023

Will strong hiring continue in the leisure and hospitality industry?

March 7, 2023

This post explores what impact the personal savings rate could have on households and their spending.

Feb. 28, 2023

How can a plethora of individual price changes in the economy be combined into a single number that represents the overall change in the cost of living? The BLS accomplishes this with the CPI.

Feb. 14, 2023

Some workers may continue to see larger than normal pay increases as wage differentials across sectors revert to their pre-pandemic norms. These increases, however, aren't distributed evenly across sectors.

Julian Kikuchi and John O'Trakoun

Feb. 7, 2023

Are households cutting back on spending, and if so, where?

Jan. 17, 2023

Debt is bouncing back as consumers borrow more to pay today's higher prices. So, how has consumer debt trended in recent months?

Jan. 10, 2023

For our first post in 2023, we pick up right where we left off: discussing inflation

Dec. 6, 2022

For the month of December, Macro Minute will be on hiatus. We'll resume our normal programming in January 2023.

Nov. 22, 2022

This year, inflation will probably feature in some of conversations over Thanksgiving dinner. To prepare you for this onslaught, this post will take stock of how inflation has gobbled up part of the holiday budget.

Nov. 15, 2022

How related are wages and prices, and does the current environment mean such a relationship has changed?

Nov. 8, 2022

In recent weeks, government debt and foreign exchange markets in the U.K. were roiled by a remarkable amount of volatility.

Oct. 18, 2022

As central banks around the world tighten their monetary policies, the U.S. dollar has appreciated significantly compared to other currencies.

Oct. 11, 2022

A key concern about the Biden administration's debt forgiveness program is its inflationary impact. This post provides a back-of-the-envelope calculation of this impact, based on a specific view of the federal budget and how it interacts with monetary and fiscal policies.

Aubrey George and Thomas A. Lubik

Oct. 4, 2022

Declining gasoline prices have contributed to an easing of inflation and lower inflation expectations, working in tandem with the FOMC's efforts to bring price levels down. But how hard is monetary policy tapping on the brakes of the economy?

Sept. 27, 2022

For homebuyers who are still in the market despite higher prices and borrowing rates, their options may be limited as homebuilders focus on clearing backlogs rather than starting new construction.

Aug. 23, 2022

Inflation has hit most other advanced economies in addition to the United States. What can we learn from their experiences?

Aug. 16, 2022

Examining how nominal income and spending behaved during the months surrounding past peaks in inflation may yield insights into the current bout of high inflation.

Aug. 9, 2022

The elevated number of job openings in recent months have been a very stark signal of labor market tightness. But some signs may be pointing to that tightness starting to ease.

Aug. 2, 2022

While several indicators have pointed to a recent slowdown in economic activity, one that uses unemployment rates to gauge recession probabilities may offer new insights.

July 12, 2022

While some measures of inflation show modest signs of improvement, trimmed mean inflation tells another story.

July 5, 2022

Recent JOLTS data on job openings, hires and separations may shed some light on establishment size and the challenges of snagging new employees.

June 28, 2022

The impact of the recent rise in prices on households and how people perceive future price increases may vary according to income, according to recent research.

Aubrey George and John O'Trakoun

May 31, 2022

For decades, economists have been looking for leading indicators that can signal the future direction of the overall economy. In today's post, we look at a few of these indicators and what they suggest for growth going forward.

May 24, 2022

Since last summer, rising home prices have threatened to push up rent prices, adding pressure to overall inflation. How have actual rents fared and what do the most recent numbers imply for rent inflation going forward?

May 17, 2022

Recent reports revealed strong growth in hiring and wages for April. But is that growth enough to keep up with inflation?

May 10, 2022

The recent fall in real GDP has sparked considerable concern, but an alternative measure provides hope that the economy didn't fare as poorly as the GDP data suggest.

April 12, 2022

A recent analysis shows significantly higher inflation in rural areas versus urban areas, using data from nine broad census divisions. But does this difference in price levels hold true drilling down to the state level?

Aubrey George and John O'Trakoun

April 5, 2022

Purchases of durable goods have been moderating after experiencing a surge during the pandemic. But is this due to falling demand or constrained supplies?

March 29, 2022

While the unemployment rate has yet to fall to its pre-pandemic level, another measure of labor market tightness has reached levels not seen since the 1970s — job openings per unemployed person.

March 22, 2022

Crude oil prices spiked following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, adding to the pricing pressures that were already affecting energy markets. Filling any supply gaps won't be easy.

Feb. 22, 2022

Despite improvements in the unemployment rate and labor force participation, one measure indicates continued hiring challenges in the private sector: the hires-per-job opening ratio.

Feb. 15, 2022

While consumers haven't been the best forecasters of the future rate of inflation, their expectations may have additional weight now because more people are paying attention to price levels.

Feb. 8, 2022

There are a lot more people who say they aren't working due to COVID-19, according to a recent survey. However, other data indicates that most of those workers remain in the labor force.

Conner Mulloy and John O'Trakoun

Feb. 1, 2022

The New York Fed recently combined a variety of indicators into a single measure of global supply chain pressure. Plotting this index against the Richmond Fed's "prices paid" measurements from its business activity surveys can provide a window into the effects of supply disruptions on the Fifth Federal Reserve District.

Jan. 11, 2022

While nonfarm payrolls increased only modestly in December, both monthly and high-frequency data on job openings bode well for upcoming employment reports.

Jan. 4, 2022

A model takes a fresh look at the relationship between producer prices and consumer prices and can be used to make a simple forecast of inflation for 2022.

Dec. 28, 2021

The emergence of a new COVID-19 variant poses risks to next year's economic outlook, especially if a spike in cases leads to supply disruptions in China and higher prices for Chinese imports.

Dec. 21, 2021

Despite an impressive drop in the unemployment rate in November 2021, looking at the breakdown of the unemployed shows that the labor market is not back to normal.

Nov. 30, 2021

Americans have spent less and saved more during most of the COVID-19 pandemic. What will happen to these accumulated savings is an open question.

Nov. 16, 2021

Doing a deep dive into inventory-to-sales ratios can yield insights into supply chain issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nov. 9, 2021

In the post-COVID-19 labor market, there is still an inverse relationship between the unemployment rate and the job openings rate, expressed as the Beveridge curve. But it takes a lot more openings to get to the same level of unemployment. This shift suggests a high degree of labor market mismatch.

Oct. 19, 2021

Average hourly earnings continue to grow strongly. With inflation running high, however, real wage growth has been more muted. Inflation has even outpaced wage growth in a few sectors.

Oct. 12, 2021

Household savings have been elevated since the start of the pandemic, especially among high-income households. This is expected to fuel the seasonal burst of demand ahead of the holidays.

Oct. 5, 2021

Recent data from the Institute for Supply Management and other sources offer early indications of whether and how much supply chain disruptions have eased.

Sept. 28, 2021

How consumers respond to the ongoing Delta variant outbreak has been a key question facing the economy. Fortunately, consumer spending is holding up better than sentiment surveys would have suggested.

Sept. 7, 2021

There could be multiple explanations for why more workers are staying on the sidelines compared to the pre-COVID-19 days. One reason could be that some people have reconsidered the costs and benefits of working.

Aug. 31, 2021

The housing market has boomed during the pandemic, but data over the past few months have been more mixed. Is this bumpiness the result of weaker demand or lower supply?

Aug. 24, 2021

The number of people working from home increased substantially in 2020, as many employers changed their work arrangements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aug. 17, 2021

Household spending fell sharply, especially on services, during the early days of the pandemic. That story is expected to change significantly as the recovery continues.

Aug. 10, 2021

The two main employment surveys can present differing views of the health of the labor market in any given month, adding to the challenges of determining how far the economy has recovered from last year's severe downturn.

Aug. 3, 2021

Employers are reporting they are unable to find workers. But is every industry experiencing the same difficulties, and are the industries having more trouble raising wages in response?

July 13, 2021

The recent acceleration in the prices people pay for housing might have more lasting implications for the path of core inflation ahead.

July 6, 2021

Policymakers have been using the trimmed mean PCE inflation rate to get a better sense of the overall direction of prices in the long term. But does using this metric risk missing anything that short-term price hikes might be telling us?