Brent Meyer |

(Former) Economist


Brent Meyer, (Former) Economist

Brent Meyer is a former economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

  • Fed Publications
Title Date Publication Author(s) Type

 

2013-05 ; Guhan Venkatu; Saeed Zaman; 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 ; Saeed Zaman; 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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September, 2012 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 12-17 ; Guhan Venkatu; Working Papers
Abstract: This paper reinvestigates the performance of trimmed-mean inflation measures some 20 years since their inception, asking whether there is a particular trimmed-mean measure that dominates the median CPI. Unlike previous research, we evaluate the performance of symmetric and asymmetric trimmed-means using a well-known equality of prediction test. We find that there is a large swath of trimmed-means that have statistically indistinguishable performance. Also, while the swath of statistically similar trims changes slightly over different sample periods, it always includes the median CPI—an extreme trim that holds conceptual and computational advantages. We conclude with a simple forecasting exercise that highlights the advantage of the median CPI (and trimmed-mean estimators in general) relative to other standard measures in forecasting headline inflation.

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2012-08 ; Murat Tasci; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Okun’s law is a statistical relationship between unemployment and GDP that is widely used as a rule of thumb for assessing the unemployment rate—why it might be at a certain level or where it might be headed, for example. Unfortunately, the Okun’s law relationship is not stable over time, which makes it potentially misleading as a rule of thumb.

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2012-02 ; Economic Commentary
Abstract:

In the face of falling house prices, decreasing rates of homeownership, and a glut of vacant homes, the Consumer Price Index’s measure of the cost of owner-occupied housing—owners’ equivalent rent of residences (OER)—has begun to accelerate, rising at an annualized rate of 2.3 percent over the past six months. Given a backdrop of generally subdued underlying inflation elsewhere in the index, a persistent increase in the relative price of OER—the largest component of the consumer market basket by far—may create upward pressure on measured inflation.


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May, 2011 Vol. 2, No. 2 ; Mehmet Pasaogullari; Forefront
Abstract: Because there is a difference between inflation and relative price changes.

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May, 2011 Vol. 2, No. 2 ; Mark E Schweitzer; Forefront
Abstract: It can be. In fact, it may even allow the Fed more room to pursue short-term output and employment stabilization.

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May, 2011 Vol. 2, No. 2 ; Forefront
Abstract: Mark Bils, a macroeconomist at the University of Rochester, has delved deeper into the intricacies of price measurement than most.

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2011-07 ; Guhan Venkatu; Economic Commentary
Abstract: It has often been reported that different demographic groups show persistent differences in their inflation expectations. Some reasonable explanations have been suggested, but most have failed to fully explain these apparent differences. We argue that the demographic differences have been overstated by using the mean to describe differences across demographic groups. When we use the median to describe inflation expectations, we find little meaningful difference across demographic groups.

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2010-17 ; Mehmet Pasaogullari; Economic Commentary
Abstract: There are many ways to forecast the future rate of inflation, ranging from sophisticated statistical models involving hundreds of variables to hunches based on past experience. We generate a number of forecasts using a simple statistical model and an even simpler estimating rule, adding in various measures thought to be helpful in predicting the course of inflation. Then we compare their forecast accuracy. We find that no single specification outperforms all others over all time periods. For example, the median and 16 percent trimmed-mean measures outperform all other specifications during the 1990s, and survey-based inflation expectations seem to do better during volatile periods.

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2010-2 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Some of the items that make up the Consumer Price Index change prices frequently, while others are slow to change. We explore whether these two sets of prices—sticky and flexible—provide insight on different aspects of the inflation process. We find that sticky prices appear to incorporate expectations about future inflation to a greater degree than prices that change on a frequent basis, while flexible prices respond more powerfully to economic conditions—economic slack. Importantly, our sticky-price measure seems to contain a component of inflation expectations, and that component may be useful when trying to gauge where inflation is heading.

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August 15, 2007 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Commentary
Abstract: When will the world's production of oil peak, and what will the economic consequences be? Calculating when turns out not to be so straightforward as it seems, but predicting the likely economic consequences is-and they're not as bleak as many fear.

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