Economic Research and Data

International Markets

Keep up to date on your understanding of international economic issues.

Feature

Are We Importing Inflation?. Some observers wonder if world economic development and the integration of global markets have doomed the United States to a permanently higher rate of inflation. This question reflects a very common misunderstanding of what price indexes tell us and of the true nature of inflation. (03.07.08)

Trends

A brief, data-intense analysis of recent international developments, written for a general audience.

  • Chinese Inflation and the Renminbi. China is increasingly worried about its inflation rate, which topped 6.5 percent on a year-over-year basis in December. One thing that the People’s Bank of China might do to garner more control over inflation is to allow its exchange rate more flexibility. (02.07.08)
  • Monetary Policy and the Dollar's Depreciation. The dollar has been depreciating in foreign-exchange markets since February 2002. Depreciation can affect the U.S. macroeconomy along at least three key dimensions: trade, prices, and interest rates. For that reason, the sharpness and protracted nature of the depreciation have started to raise questions about possible implications for U.S. monetary policy and about possible policy responses to the dollar’s fall. (01.08.08)
  • Dollar Depreciations and Inflation. Dollar exchange rates have recently reached some eye-bulging levels: parity with the Canadian dollar, a record against the euro, and a rate not seen in 25 years against the British pound. Two fundamental developments seem to be pressing on the dollar: One is a large current-account deficit and the other, recent changes in monetary policy. (12.11.07)
  • Trade and the Dollar.Our trade deficit is narrowing, with exports growing at 4 times the pace of imports. A key factor contributing to lower U.S. trade deficits is phenomenally strong economic growth abroad relative to that in the United States. The slower pace of U.S. growth this year has trimmed import demand. (12.06.07)
  • Is it the Best of Times or the Worst? The continuing implosion of the U.S. housing market has caused many forecasters to trim their economic-growth estimates for this year and next. So we are left wondering:  Is this the best of times or worst? (11.07.07)
  • Head'n South. Dollar exchange rates have recently reached some eye-bulging levels: parity with the Canadian dollar, a record against the euro, and a rate not seen in 25 years against the British pound. Two fundamental developments seem to be pressing on the dollar: One is a large current-account deficit and the other, recent changes in monetary policy. (10.05.07)
  • U.S. International Investment Position. Indicative of the growing globalization of financial markets, both U.S. and foreign assets have increased sharply as a share of GDP since the mid-1990s. (09.06.07)
  • The Dollar’s Depreciation and Inflation. Factors underlying the dollar’s depreciation may be changing in a manner that could put upward pressure on U.S. prices, should they continue. Nevertheless, dollar depreciations do not cause inflation. Inflation is a purely home-grown, monetary phenomenon. (08.07.07)
  • Sovereign Wealth Funds. The growing clout of sovereign wealth funds has left a lot of anxious people wondering if state-controlled investment funds will act like privately owned investment funds. With the exception of Norway’s, sovereign wealth funds’ operations are notoriously opaque, which has given rise to many questions. (07.02.07)
  • Is Foreign-Exchange Intervention a Good Idea? While monetary policy certainly could guide exchange rates, doing so would almost certainly conflict with domestic goals, notably price stability. (06.07.07)

Economic Commentary

Detailed commentary on current developments and ongoing issues in international economics, written for a general audience.

Policy Discussion Papers

Detailed commentary on current policy issues in international economics, written for well-informed lay and professional audiences.

Research

Professional working papers and recently published articles.