Payrolls were up 204,000 last month, well above expectations, and the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.3%, due in part to the government shutdown, which lasted through the first half of the October. The payroll number is a big, upside surprise (MarketWatch called it “shockingly strong”). Even though, as explained below, furloughed government workers… Read more
Over at the NYT Economix blog, based on an important new paper by Federal Reserve economists. Be sure to look at all the panels in their figure 1.1 (I just used one for the NYT piece).
In a post the other day about the Federal Reserve and inflation, I noted that a commonly used rule to gauge where the Fed should set the Federal Funds Rate (FFR) was pointing at around -2% right now. However, I noted that: …if you tweak that calculation in a way that I think you should,… Read more
In a refreshing break from all the health care mishegoss, I keep running into people who want to talk about this idea that faster inflation would help the economy pull out of its growth slog. Since I view faster growth as an extremely laudable and overlooked goal, allow me to say a bit more about… Read more
Very interesting piece in today’s NYT on how more inflation would actually be helpful right about now. That’s probably counter-intuitive to a lot of readers so let me elaborate. To be clear, none of us would be calling for faster price growth were it not for the fact that inflation is really low. This chart… Read more