Messages from the 21Q2 GDP Advance Release: No Economy Is an Island

With apologies to John Donne. Jim provided some key points in his Thursday post regarding the 21Q2 advance figures. Here are my additional takeaways: (1) the Administration’s forecast locked down in February looks prescient; (2) Final sales were higher than GDP, (3) exports have not […]

Business Cycle Indicators for End-July 2021

Consumption, personal income and St. Louis Fed’s real manufacturing and trade industry sales were released today. The July employment situation will be released next Friday. This is the picture today. Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment from June release (dark blue), Bloomberg consensus as of 7/30 […]

The economic recovery continues

The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that seasonally adjusted U.S. real GDP grew at a 6.5% annual rate in the second quarter. That’s well above the 3.1% average growth that the U.S. experienced over 1947-2019. Kudos to Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta economist Patrick […]

Forecasts, on the Eve of the 2021Q2 Advance Release

Q2 GDP will be released tomorrow morning, and Jim will be providing his insights on the numbers. Today, the IMF released its July 2021 World Economic Outlook forecasts, which gives us and opportunity to recap where we stand. Figure 1: GDP as reported (black), Administration […]

Wildfires in 2021: Don’t Be Lulled Into Complacency by YTD Figures

The upward trend in acres burned is shown below. Figure 1: Acres burned (black) and acres burned year-to-date (YTD) 28 July (red), and log linear regression fit (gray), forecast based on log first differences regression 2012-18 (purple x) and plus/minus one standard error (light small […]

Still Crazy After All These Years

Although there is something to be said for consistency. For instance, I see someone blogging (!): MilestonesI talk a lot about inflation. But today was the first time in my life I actually used a dollar bill as toilet paper. And then 12 years ago, […]

Why Did US Economic Policy Uncertainty Rise So Much During the Pandemic?

I was doing a review of measured economic policy uncertainty, and found an interesting divergence between the US and Europe: Figure 1: Economic Policy Uncertainty index (news only) for US (blue), and for Europe (brown). Light green shading denotes pandemic in US. Source: Most […]

PCE Price Index Overshooting … or Undershooting

William Luther at AIER asks “Is Inflation Merely Catching Up?“: …it is simply not the case that the observed inflation has merely been what was required for catching up. The price level today is greater than what it was expected to be in the absence […]

Guest Contribution: “The Virus, Vaccination, and Voting”

Today, we present a guest post written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and formerly a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. A shorter version appeared at Project Syndicate. The underlying econometrics are spelled out in “The […]

“this [Covid-19] pandemic ain’t 1918–never was, never will be”

— Comment by rick stryker, August 19, 2020. Then — as now — there were many who doubted the seriousness of the crisis, and several of those provided comments on this blog. With now 11 additional months of data, we have as of July 10th […]