Saeed Zaman |

Economist


Saeed Zaman, Economist

Saeed Zaman is an economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. His current research focuses on inflation measurement and forecasting, including nowcasting methods, and he contributes to the development of macroeconomic forecasting and policy models at the bank. His research interests also include inflation and prices, macroeconomic forecasting, monetary policy, and banking and financial institutions. He began work at the bank in 2002 as a research analyst, and over the years his work has ranged from analyzing economic conditions to developing software applications that support the research needs of the department.

Mr. Zaman has an M.S. in computer science from the University of Southern California, an M.A. in economics from Cleveland State University, and a B.S. in computer engineering from the G.I.K. Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology in Topi, Pakistan.

  • Fed Publications
Title Date Publication Author(s) Type

 

2014-02 ; Charles T Carlstrom; Economic Commentary
Abstract: A standard Taylor rule, which expresses the federal funds rate as a function of inflation, the unemployment gap, and the past federal funds rate, tracks the federal funds rate well over time. We improve the fit by adding employment growth. Then we evaluate the effectiveness of that rule in a new way—by how accurately it predicts whether the FOMC moves the fed funds rate at its next meeting. It does pretty well, predicting nearly 70 percent of the time correctly.

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2013-19 ; Edward S Knotek II; Economic Commentary
Abstract: The Federal Open Market Committee has been providing guidance to help markets anticipate when it will begin raising the federal funds rate target. The most recent guidance suggests that the target will not change at least until after an unemployment or inflation threshold is breached. We use a forecasting model to estimate when these thresholds are likely to be breached. We also consider how an inflation floor would affect the timing of liftoff.

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2013-16 ; Economic Commentary
Abstract: A simple but powerful technique for incorporating a changing underlying inflation trend into standard statistical time series models can improve forecast accuracy significantly—about 20 percent to 30 percent, two to three years out.

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2013-15 ; Todd E Clark; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Should the unanticipated slowing of inflation that has occurred since early 2012 raise doubts about the reliability of inflation forecasts? Our analysis indicates that inflation fell well within a normal range of uncertainty, and most of the deviation from the original forecast was a response to other economic developments.

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September, 2013 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 13-13 ; Lakshmi Balasubramanyan; James B Thomson; Working Papers
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to empirically analyze if loan loss provisioning is forward-looking. Using a confidential dataset that directly helps us identify loan demand and loan supply at the bank level, we test if the banks? provisioning behavior is different before and after the crisis. We find, for the entire sample of banks, loan loss provisioning is forward-looking and statistically significant in the post-crisis period. Our results show that the top quartiles of banks in our dataset exhibit a forward-looking approach to loan loss provisioning both in the pre- and post-crisis period. From a policy perspective, the top quartile of banks in our sample is engaged in forward-looking loan loss provisioning. From an accounting stance, this may be suggestive of the largest banks being more engaged in earnings management and income smoothing than the smallest banks in our sample. However, from the banking regulation perspective, implementing forward-looking loan loss provisioning is economically intuitive and will help build a countercyclical buffer, thereby strengthening bank balance sheets.

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2013-05 ; Brent Meyer; Guhan Venkatu; Economic Commentary
Abstract: The Median CPI is well-known as an accurate predictor of future inflation. But it's just one of many possible trimmed-mean inflation measures. Recent research compares these types of measures to see which tracks future inflation best. Not only does the Median CPI outperform other trims in predicting CPI inflation, it also does a better job of predicting PCE inflation, the FOMC's preferred measure, than the core PCE.

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February, 2013 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 13-03 ; Brent Meyer; Working Papers
Abstract: In this paper we investigate the forecasting performance of the median CPI in a variety of Bayesian VARs (BVARs) that are often used for monetary policy. Until now, the use of trimmed-mean price statistics in forecasting inflation has often been relegated to simple univariate or “Philips-Curve” approaches, thus limiting their usefulness in applications that require consistent forecasts of multiple macro variables. We find that inclusion of an extreme trimmed-mean measure—the median CPI—significantly improves the forecasts of both headline and core CPI across our wide-ranging set of BVARs. While the inflation forecasting improvements are perhaps not surprising given the current literature on core inflation statistics, we also find that inclusion of the median CPI improves the forecasting accuracy of the central bank’s primary instrument for monetary policy—the federal funds rate. We conclude with a few illustrative exercises that highlight the usefulness of using the median CPI.

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February, 2013 ; Charles T Carlstrom; Samuel B Chapman; Economic Trends
Abstract: There has been a lot of interest in financial circles in finding a guidepost or rule of thumb that reflects how monetary policymakers decide how to set interest rates. Given that the federal funds rate—the short-term interest rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)—has been at zero for a while, such a rule may not seem useful today. But presumably it will be once the rate is above zero, and it is interesting to see what the rule suggests about when the rate will increase. Some versions of the rule predict an earlier increase than the FOMC’s current projections, and we explain why this would be so.

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2012-15 ; Ellis W Tallman; Economic Commentary
Abstract: In the wake of Great Recession, the Federal Reserve engaged in conventional monetary policy actions by reducing the federal funds rate. But soon the rate hit zero, and could go no lower. In such environments, policymakers still think in terms of where the federal funds rate should be, were it possible to go negative. To project the "unconstrained path" of the funds rate—ignoring the zero lower bound—and to identify the key underlying shocks driving that path, we employ a statistical macroeconomic forecasting model. We find that the federal funds rate would have been extremely negative during 2009-2010.

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October, 2011 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 11-28 ; Kenneth Beauchemin; Working Papers
Abstract: This paper presents a 16-variable Bayesian VAR forecasting model of the U.S. economy for use in a monetary policy setting. The variables that comprise the model are selected not only for their effectiveness in forecasting the primary variables of interest, but also for their relevance to the monetary policy process. In particular, the variables largely coincide with those of an augmented New-Keynesian DSGE model. We provide out-of sample forecast evaluations and illustrate the computation and use of predictive densities and fan charts. Although the reduced form model is the focus of the paper, we also provide an example of structural analysis to illustrate the macroeconomic response of a monetary policy shock.

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2011-19 ; Andrea Pescatori; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Models of the macroeconomy have gotten quite sophisticated, thanks to decades of development and advances in computing power. Such models have also become indispensable tools for monetary policymakers, useful both for forecasting and comparing different policy options. Their failure to predict the recent financial crisis does not negate their usefulness, it only points to some areas that can be improved.

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2011-14 ; Todd E Clark; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Sharp rises in energy and other commodity prices have recently ignited concerns about inflation. Will these price increases spill over to other prices more generally? We study the typical responses of different price shocks and assess whether the recent behavior of producer and consumer prices is consistent with historical norms. Our analysis shows that the behavior of various producer and consumer prices since late 2009 has generally matched up with historical patterns. Overall, our findings suggest that effects of the recent energy and commodity price shocks on core consumer prices will be modest going forward.

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2011-06 ; Ozgur Emre Ergungor; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Knowing whether buying a home is a better financial move for a family than renting requires a consideration of costs and options that people often neglect to factor in. One aspect of the calculation that is almost always overlooked is uncertainty—the fact that no matter how good one’s estimates of the future are, the future can turn out differently than projected. Incorporating uncertainty into the rent-or-buy calculation gives potential homebuyers information that can improve their decisions. While incorporating uncertainty is complicated, it’s made easier with the Cleveland Fed’s online calculator.

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2010-11 ; Murat Tasci; Economic Commentary
Abstract: The past recession has hit the labor market especially hard, and economists are wondering whether some fundamentals of the market have changed because of that blow. Many are suggesting that the natural rate of long-term unemployment—the level of unemployment an economy can’t go below—has shifted permanently higher. We use a new measure that is based on the rates at which workers are finding and losing jobs and which provides a more accurate assessment of the natural rate. We find that the natural rate of unemployment has indeed shifted higher—but much less so than has been suggested. Surprising trends in both the job-finding and job-separation rates explain much about the current state of the unemployment rate.

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May, 2009 ; Kent Cherny; Yuliya Demyanyk; Economic Trends
Abstract: Some reports have shown evidence of contraction in commercial and industrial (C&I) loans, which could make it difficult for businesses to manage cash flow or finance business expansion. We look at some measures of business lending to analyze supply and demand patterns for these loans. C&I loan volume has fallen, but existing credit lines are being tapped more. Demand for loans has also fallen.

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April, 2009 ; Kent Cherny; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends
Abstract: Annual asset growth of Fourth District BHCs was 3.5 percent last year, down from 2007’s 5.1 percent growth rate. The U.S. commercial banking sector saw a reduction in total assets during the fourth quarter of 2008, as the financial crisis prompted banks to deleverage or slow their rate of asset growth. Nevertheless, total assets nationally and in the Fourth District did grow over the course of 2008.

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March, 2009 ; Kent Cherny; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends
Abstract: The FDIC recently released its fourth-quarter banking summary, giving us the opportunity to examine trends in the FDIC-insured banking industry during 2008. It was a rough year for FDIC-insured banks.

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December, 2008 ; Kent Cherny; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends
Abstract: There are 238 community banks headquartered in the Fourth District. We look at their annual asset growth, income stream, balance sheet composition, liabilities, problem loans, net charge–offs, and coverage ratio.

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November, 2008 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends
Abstract: The Federal Reserve Board’s October 2008 survey of senior loan officers was recently released. It found significant tightening of standards for commercial and industrial loans since the last survey.

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07.30.08 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends
Abstract: How are bank holding companies in the Fourth District faring? Here's a first-quarter 2008 update on a number of indicators of conditions in the industry.

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May, 2008 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends
Abstract: The Federal Reserve Board’s April 2008 survey of senior loan officers found significant tightening of standards for commercial and industrial loans since the last survey.

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May, 2008 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends
Abstract: As of December 31, 2007, the FDIC has insured $4.3 trillion of member deposits. Growth in reserves outstripped insured deposits, and the insurance fund’s reserve-to-deposit ratio remains in the mandated target range with the ongoing financial mess—suggests that the Deposit Insurance Fund’s losses might go up in the near future.

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04.16.08 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends
Abstract: There are three fewer bank holding companies in the District with assets of more than $1 billion since 1999, but total assets of all of those remaining has increased every year except 2000. Their income streams deteriorated somewhat in 2007, problem real estate loans jumped to their highest level, problem consumer loans edged up slightly, and the risk-based capital ratio fell sharply.

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02.22.08 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends
Abstract: Passage of the 1994 Reigle-Neal Act, which regulates interstate banking, has spurred the consolidation of depository institutions. The number of FDIC-insured commercial banks fell from 10,166 in the middle of 1995 to 7,350 in the middle of 2007, a decline of more than 27 percent. The total number of banking offices, however, increased nearly 28 percent over that period, from 65,321 to 83,358.

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02.22.08 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends

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01.22.08 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends

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12.21.07 ; Ed Nosal; Economic Trends

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11.09.07 ; Ed Nosal; Economic Trends

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November 9, 2007 ; Ed Nosal; Economic Trends

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10.16.07 ; Ed Nosal; Economic Trends
Abstract: Banking and Financial Institutions

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January 1, 2006 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Mark E Schweitzer; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Since the 1970s, productivity growth in the manufacturing sector has outpaced the overall economy, yet the sector's share of the workforce has declined dramatically. This leads us to ask if we are in fact engineering ourselves out of jobs. This Economic Commentary explores the relationship between productivity and employment and points out why this apparently straightforward relationship may be more complicated than it appears.

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