Brent Meyer |

Senior Economic Analyst


Brent Meyer is a senior economic analyst in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. His research interests are monetary policy, macroeconomics, inflation, and forecasting.

Mr. Meyer joined the Bank in 2006 as a research assistant and was promoted to economic analyst in 2007. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Hillsdale College and a master’s degree in economics from Bowling Green State University.

  • Fed Publications
  • Other 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.

top

 

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.

top

 

November, 2012 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI rose October, as gasoline prices posted a modest decrease and general price pressure elsewhere in the retail market basket was fairly tame. One element related to the differences in growth rates between the CPI and the underlying inflation measures is the cross-sectional volatility in the overall consumer market basket, which reflects the change in the dispersion of prices from month to month.

top

 

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.

top

 

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.

top

 

May, 2012 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI was flat in April, largely because falling gasoline prices offset modest increases elsewhere in the basket. But the real news in the latest price report was that on a year-over-year basis the CPI is up just 2.3 percent as of the end of April, continuing its slowdown since it hit a high of 3.9 percent last September.

top

 

April, 2012 ; Emily Burgen; Murat Tasci; Economic Trends
Abstract: The slow pace of GDP growth has some people wondering how sustainable the recent improvement in the labor market is. Implicit in their suspicion is the idea of Okun's law, which is essentially an empirical relationship between the growth rate in real GDP and changes in the unemployment rate. But looking at this relationship in a few ways, we find that the labor market is improving at a rate consistent with the rate of recovery in GDP.

top

 

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.


top

 

February, 2012 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Every February the BLS updates the seasonal factors for each component in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to reflect developments during the previous year. Also, every other February, the BLS updates the weights (or relative importance values) of all the component series to reflect expenditure changes. Usually, these revisions don?t change much, but this year, they led to a modest change in the near-term trend of a few key underlying inflation measures.

top

 

November, 2011 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Upward pressure on the Consumer Price Index from a few component prices reversed in October, and the 12-month growth rate in the index slowed, edging down for the first time since last November. This reversal came as a dip in energy prices more than offset a modest 1.4 percent increase in food prices. Measures of underlying inflation, on the other hand, rose slightly. An alternative way to view the price-change distribution takes the focus off of the price changes for the individual components and draws it to where the mass of the distribution was centered during the month. While we’ve seen a slowing in underlying inflation over the past few months, continued increases in OER and rent are likely to put upward pressure on measured inflation.

top

 

October, 2011 ; Daniel R Carroll; Economic Trends
Abstract: The Great Recession and the subsequent weak recovery have prompted the U.S. government to take a larger role in the economy. This increased involvement has been delivered through two channels, one passive and one active. This increase in government activity in the economy has resulted in a tradeoff between increased available income now and larger obligations in the future.

top

 

August, 2011 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The headline CPI jumped up at an annualized rate of 6.2 percent in July, surprising forecasters’ expectations to the upside. There were some interesting relative price changes in July. This months’ rundown of the current data.

top

 

July, 2011 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Until recently, the debate between the “inflation is too high” crowd and the “subdued” inflation adherents had centered on the use of headline and core measures of inflation. Core measures exclude food and energy prices, and energy prices had been rising sharply through the first four months of the year, pushing up the headline growth rate relative to the core. In June, however, energy prices reversed course, food prices posted modest gains, and the core CPI jumped up markedly, perhaps causing angst to some debaters. Fortunately at inflection points like these, we have a few alternative price change indicators that may shed some light on the underlying inflation trend.

top

 

May, 2011 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Rising food and energy prices have prompted speculation of a possible price-wage spiral that will result in rampant inflation. A look at some data that might help spot this inflationary pressure—inflation expectations, income-growth expectations, and employment cost trends—detects no hint of a wage-price spiral.

top

 

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

top

 

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.

top

 

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.

top

 

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.

top

 

March, 2011 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Yes, oil and commodity prices are increasing, and we are starting to see that increase expressed in retail prices. Motor fuel prices jumped up at an annualized rate of more than 50 percent in January, and they have risen nearly 14 percent over the past year. But why don’t we hear about other dramatic changes in relative prices—in the opposite direction? Perhaps it is because increasing prices at the pump are particularly painful for the average consumer. Lately, many are suggesting that the increase in the relative price of gasoline and other commodities is a sign of incipient hyperinflation. But that doesn’t make sense given the decreases in other prices, like household energy prices. Why wouldn’t they be some signal of deflation?

top

 

March, 2011 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The headline Consumer Price Index jumped up at an annualized rate of 4.9 percent in January, following a 5.3 percent increase in December. Energy, commodity, and food prices have been exerting significant upward price pressure lately, food prices spiked in January, and the price of motor fuel has risen at an annualized rate of 54 percent over the past three months. But are these recent price increases simply relative price movements brought about by changes in supply and demand conditions, or are the increases symptomatic of a monetary impulse working its way through prices in general?

top

 

February, 2011 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: After the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting, participants’ forecasts for economic growth, unemployment, and inflation were released along with the meeting statement. The Committee shaded up its forecasts for near-term output growth relative to its previous meeting, while forecasts for the medium term were largely unchanged. Despite slightly stronger expectations for near-term growth, the Committee’s 2011 unemployment rate forecasts improved only narrowly, and Committee members continue to expect that inflation will remain at or below their longer-run projections.

top

 

January, 2011 ; Mehmet Pasaogullari; Economic Trends
Abstract: In a recent study we compared the accuracy of different techniques for forecasting future CPI inflation and found that forecast accuracy varied a lot over time and technique. Here, we provide more evidence on the variation of forecast accuracy over time.

top

 

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.

top

 

November, 2010 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: After the November Federal Open Market Committee meeting, participants' forecasts for economic growth, unemployment, and inflation were released along with the meeting statement. The Committee’s forecasts for near-term output growth were revised down sharply from the June meeting, its unemployment rate projections were marked up through 2012, and the outlook for PCE and core PCE inflation were shaded up as well.

top

 

November, 2010 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: As of August, there was a somewhat sizeable gap between the 12-month growth rate in the core PCE and the core CPI. Normally, this isn’t much of an issue. However, this time the direction of the gap is reversed relative to historical norms, and measured inflation rates are hovering just above zero. A quick look into the differences between these two series may clear up this mystery.

top

 

August, 2010 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: We have experienced a dramatic disinflation—a slowing in the growth rate of inflation—over the past couple of years. With most measures of inflation reporting in at very low rates, speculation abounds that disinflation will eventually give way to deflation. A quick glance at the most recent report on consumer prices might splash some cold water on that discussion. But then, a deeper dig through the report reveals details that might support continued low rates of inflation.

top

 

July, 2010 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Four times a year, we get a glimpse of the FOMC’s forecasts for economic growth, unemployment, and inflation. The Committee's latest forecasts were released with the minutes of the June 22-23 meeting.

top

 

June, 2010 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: From time to time, components comprising the Consumer Price Index exhibit some idiosyncratic price changes, obscuring the inflation signal in the data. Recently, a couple of examples of these idiosyncratic price changes have shown up in the data. There are a number of ways to deal with these idiosyncracies to get a better read on the inflation signal in prices, with trimmed-mean estimators like the median CPI among the best.

top

 

May, 2010 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The economic projections of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) were released along with the minutes of the meeting on April 27-28. As usual, the projections were based on the information available at the time, as well as participants’ assumptions about the economic factors affecting the outlook and their view of appropriate monetary policy.

top

 

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.

top

 

April, 2010 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Given the recent low readings on inflation, it wouldn’t be too surprising to hear warnings of an impending deflation. But is there cause for alarm? A quick examination of the incoming data may help to discern whether it’s time to panic.

top

 

March, 2010 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The most recent readings in the median CPI, 16 percent trimmed-mean CPI, and core CPI are all below their respective longer-term trends, suggesting a continued disinflationary trend. The longer-term trends in the trim and median have come down sharply relative to the core CPI over the past year or so.

top

 

February, 2010 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The economic projections of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) are released in conjunction with the minutes of the meetings four times a year (January, April, June, and November). Data available to FOMC participants on January 26–27 continued to confirm that the economy was in the midst of a nascent recovery, albeit at a pace that is expected to be somewhat slower than an average snapback.

top

 

January, 2010 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI rose at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in December, as both food and energy prices posted modest increases. In December, the bulk of the consumer market basket (by expenditure weight) continued to reside on the low end of the distribution, as 40 percent of the overall index posted outright price decreases and 23 percent rose at rates between 0 and 1 percent. Roughly half of the overall increase in the core CPI in December was due to a 35 percent increase in used car and truck prices. Although there was a slight uptick in both the short-term and longer-run average inflation expectations from the University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumer Sentiment, they still appear to be relatively “well-anchored.”

top

 

December, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI rose 4.9 percent (annualized rate) in November, largely on a sizeable jump in energy prices (up 62.7 percent). However, the core CPI was virtually unchanged, rising just 0.4 percent, following a 2.2 percent increase in October. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s measures of underlying inflation trends—the median CPI and 16 percent trimmed-mean CPI—remained soft in November, increasing a slight 0.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. Over the past three months, the median CPI is up a mere 0.6 percent, while the trimmed-mean measure has risen 1.5 percent.

top

 

November, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The FOMC’s economic projections were released in conjunction with the minutes of its November meeting. The Committee?s central tendency for economic growth is now for the economy to contract on a year-over-year basis in 2009 between -0.4 percent and -0.1 percent, a dramatic improvement when compared to the central tendency reported after the June FOMC meeting. Estimates for PCE inflation for 2009 were broadly similar to those in June, and unemployment is expected to average between 9.8 percent and 10.3 percent in the fourth quarter of this year.

top

 

November, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI rose at an annualized rate of 2.0 percent in September, following an energy-price-induced 5.5 percent jump in August, and is now up 2.5 percent over the past three months. The BLS release states that the overall increase was “broad based” among components and tempered by a 1.2 percent decrease in food prices (their sixth decrease in the past eight months).

top

 

October, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Reading the headline inflation forecasts from the most recent Blue Chip survey is much like the reading the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The average of the bottom 10 forecasts has inflation running “much too cold”—below 1.0 percent by the end of 2010. At the other end, the average of the top 10 has it rising above 3.0 percent by the fourth quarter of 2010—some might call that “too hot.” However, the overall average hits 2.0 percent by the end of next year, which some might argue is “just right.”

top

 

September, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI jumped up 5.5 percent, while the 12-month growth rate in the series is down 1.5 percent. The core CPI (excluding food and energy prices) rose 0.8 percent in August. Also, there were a couple rather curious price moves during the month.

top

 

August, 2009 ; John Lindner; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP was virtually unchanged in the latest revision of the second-quarter estimate, falling at an annualized rate of −1.0 percent. While the headline number was unchanged, there were some interesting moves in the components. In related news, results from two special questions on the Blue Chip survey of professional economists lend support to the view that this recovery will be slower than postwar trends would suggest.

top

 

August, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract:

The CPI was virtually unchanged in July, rising at an annualized rate of only 0.1 percent, as slight decreases in food and energy components were roughly balanced out by a 1.1 percent increase in the core CPI.


top

 

August, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP decreased at an annualized rate of 1.0 percent in the second quarter,beating expectations. Due to the comprehensive revision, year-over-year growth in real GDP fell to −3.9 percent through the second quarter, a post-World War II low. The comprehensive revision incorporated methodological changes, which, along with data revisions, resulted in some very interesting developments.

top

 

July, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI jumped up 9.3 percent, almost entirely because of a large spike in motor fuel (up 569 percent at an annualized rate), accounting for over 80 percent of the overall increase in the CPI. However, even with this month’s jump, the CPI is down 1.4 percent over the past year.

top

 

July, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The FOMC’s economic projections were released in conjunction with the minutes of its June meeting. Data available to FOMC participants on June 23-24 showed some signs of stabilization after two quarters of substantial decreases.

top

 

July, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The final estimate for real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2009 came in at −5.5 percent, 0.2 percentage point above the preliminary estimate and 0.6 percentage point higher than the advance estimate. A downward revision to real imports (which adds to real GDP growth) was the largest change from the previous estimate, adding 0.5 percentage point to real GDP growth.

top

 

June, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI rose at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent in May, rebounding somewhat after two consecutive overall decreases. Still, its 12-month growth rate slipped even further into the red, falling from −0.7 percent in April to −1.3 percent in May.

top

 

June, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: First-quarter real GDP growth was revised up from an annualized percent change of −6.1 percent in the advance estimate to −5.7 percent, according to the preliminary estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Most of the revisions to the components that comprise GDP were relatively minor.

top

 

May, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI was virtually flat in April, falling 0.2 percent at an annualized rate, pulled down in part by falling food and energy prices, which were down 2.2 percent and 25.1 percent, respectively. Excluding food and energy prices (core CPI), the index jumped up 3.1 percent. As was the case in March, the excise tax on tobacco was the smoking gun pushing up the core CPI.

top

 

May, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The FOMC's economic projections were released in conjunction with the minutes of its April meeting. The projections have not improved much since the last release of the Committee's projections, in January 2009.

top

 

May, 2009 ; Kenneth Beauchemin; Economic Trends
Abstract: Some observers complain that the economic forecasts used in the bank stress tests were not severe enough. But the most recent projections by professional forecasters suggest that the stress-test scenarios remain viable and relevant to the task of assessing the potential losses faced by nation's largest bank holding companies.

top

 

May, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP decreased at an annualized rate of 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009, slightly less negative than the fourth quarter’s −6.3 percent, but coming in worse than consensus expectations. The resulting four-quarter growth rate in real GDP fell to −2.6 percent, its lowest growth rate since the 1982 recession.

top

 

April, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI decreased at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in March, pulling the 12-month growth rate down to −0.4 percent. The core CPI is up 2.2 percent over the past three months, compared to 1.8 percent over the past year. The measures of underlying inflation produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median CPI and the 16 percent trimmed-mean CPI, rose 2.0 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

top

 

March, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The final estimate of real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2008 came in at −6.3 percent (annualized rate), 0.1 percentage points lower than the preliminary estimate and whopping 2.5 percentage points below the advance estimate.

top

 

March, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI increased somewhat unexpectedly in February, rising at an annualized rate of 4.8 percent, following a 3.4 percent gain last month. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s measures of underlying inflation trends, the median CPI and the 16-percent trimmed-mean CPI, rose 2.3 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. Also, every subcategory of the apparel price index (except infant and toddler apparel) rose in excess of 8.0 percent during the month, which may suggest that some retail prices are starting to rebound after deeper-than-normal discounts over the holiday season. Given the relatively weak spending environment, its seems hard to view these price changes as anything other than transitory.

top

 

March, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP was revised down 2.5 percentage points to −6.2 percent (annualized rate) in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the preliminary release by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. For context, the average revision without regard to sign from the advance to preliminary estimate is 0.5 percentage point. If the current estimate holds, it will be the sharpest quarterly decrease between the two releases since the first quarter of 1982.

top

 

February, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI rose at an annualized rate of 3.4 percent in January, reversing course after three consecutive monthly declines and outpacing all of its longer-term trends. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s measures of underlying inflation trends, the median CPI and the 16 percent trimmed-mean CPI, increased 2.7 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.

top

 

February, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The economic projections of the FOMC are released in conjunction with the meeting minutes four times a year (January, April, June, and October). Economic conditions between the release of the October and January projections have deteriorated considerably.

top

 

February, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP decreased at an annualized rate of 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. While this marks the statistic’s worst quarterly performance since 1982, it is much less than the −5.5 percent that was expected.

top

 

01.27.09 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: After posting a decline of 8.5 percent (annualized rate) in December, the CPI finished the year up only 0.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, its lowest yearly price appreciation since 1945. As expected, plummeting energy prices (namely a 17 percent slide (nonannualized) in gas prices) caused much of the headline decrease in December.

top

 

January, 2009 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP decreased at an annualized rate of 0.5 percent in the third quarter of 2008 (unchanged from the preliminary estimate), according to the final estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The latest Blue Chip consensus forecast is for real GDP to drop 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, marking the economy’s worst performance since the 1982 recession. It seems that the 2009 outlook has darkened considerably, as nearly every panelist revised down his or her respective 2009 growth estimate from the last report. The 2009 consensus estimate fell from −0.4 percent in November to −1.1 percent in December.

top

 

December, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI fell further than expected, posting a record decrease of −18.4 percent (annualized rate) in November. Rapidly falling energy prices (down 89.3 percent at an annualized rate), accounted for a large part of the decrease. Outside of energy prices, there was a rather curious uptick in owners’ equivalent rent (OER)—it increased 3.4 percent in November.

top

 

December, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Third-quarter real GDP was revised down 0.2 percentage point, to −0.5 percent, according to the preliminary estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The downward revision, which was largely anticipated, reflected downward adjustments to personal consumption and exports, which were somewhat offset by an upward adjustment to inventories, and a downward revision to imports.

top

 

November, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The Consumer Price Index decreased at an annualized rate of 10.9 percent in October. It was the largest monthly decrease on record in the series (which goes back to 1947), conjuring the specter of deflation just four short months after inflation looked to be a major concern.

top

 

November, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP decreased at an annualized rate of 0.3 percent in the third quarter, slightly above expectations. Much of the decrease was due to a dramatic drop in consumption and a decrease in investments. Personal consumption expenditures decreased 3.1 percent in the third quarter, their largest decrease since the second quarter of 1980. Even worse, spending on nondurable goods fell 6.5 percent during the quarter, its largest decrease since the fourth quarter of 1950.

top

 

October, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The Consumer Price Index was virtually unchanged in September, falling just 0.4 percent at an annualized rate. Over the past couple of months, the median CPI has remained stubbornly elevated (falling only slightly), while the 16 percent trimmed–mean CPI has fallen dramatically from July’s 7.2 percent increase. This disparity between the median CPI and the 16 percent trimmed–mean has a lot to do with the majority of the index’s components falling in the tails of the distribution.

top

 

October, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP advanced at an annualized rate of 2.8 percent in the second quarter, according to the final release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This is a downward revision of 0.5 percentage point from the preliminary estimate, but it is still up 0.9 percentage point from the advance estimate. The downward adjustment (from preliminary to final) was largely due to a revision to real consumption growth, from an increase of 1.7 percent to 1.2 percent.

top

 

September, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell for the first time since October 2006, declining at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in August. In August, 30 percent of the components of the CPI exhibited price decreases, while 22.5 percent experienced increases at rates exceeding 5.0 percent (so a majority of the index’s components fell into the tails of the distribution).

top

 

September, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP advanced at an annualized rate of 3.3 percent in the second quarter, outpacing its growth over the past four quarters, according to the preliminary release from the BEA. This is an extremely large upward revision (1.4 percentage points) from the advance estimate when compared to the average advance–to–preliminary revision over the past 20 years of 0.5 percentage point. If this estimate holds, the economy will have grown in the second quarter at a rate in excess of its average over the past 20 years (not bad for a quarter that, not too long ago, was expected to post near–zero growth).

top

 

August, 2008 ; Michael F Bryan; Kent Cherny; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends
Abstract: Since last month, the yield curve has flattened modestly, with both short-term interest rates increasing and longer rates holding steady. The yield curve slope became somewhat flatter, with short rates moving up, and the spread remains positive. Projecting forward using past values of the spread and GDP growth suggests that real GDP will grow at about a 3.0 percent rate over the next year.

top

 

August, 2008 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI rose at an annualized rate of 10.3 percent in July, much higher than expected, as energy and commodity prices continued to surge. One-year-ahead average inflation expectations fell 0.8 percentage point to 5.5 percent in August, likely reflecting the recent decline in energy and commodity prices from near–term peaks. Longer–term (5–10 year–ahead) average expectations ticked up to 3.8 percent in August from 3.5 percent in July, holding slightly above their recent trend.

top

 

August, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP increased at an annualized rate of 1.9 percent in the second quarter of 2008, according to the advance estimate released by the BEA, 0.1 percentage point higher than its growth over the last four quarters. The revision to the fourth quarter of 2007, from 0.6 percent to −0.2 percent, garnered far more interest and renewed some recession speculation.

top

 

July, 2008 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI rose at an annualized rate of 13.4 percent in June, outpacing all of its longer-term trends and pushed up by a 116.3 percent spike in energy prices and a 9.6 percent increase in food prices. Over the past 12 months, the PPI has increased 9.1 percent, its largest growth rate in 27 years. Average inflation expectations, as measured by the University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers, have been holding near recent highs.

top

 

July, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP increased at an annualized rate of 1.0 percent in the first quarter of 2008, according to the final estimate released by the BEA. The revision was primarily due to upward adjustments to private investment and exports, which were mostly offset by a downward adjustment to inventories and an increase in imports (which enter as a negative in GDP accounting).

top

 

July, 2008 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI rose 8.1 percent (annualized rate) in May, pushed up, in part, by a 67.8 percent increase in energy components. Over the past three months, the CPI is up 4.9 percent. Looking forward, professional forecasts see headline consumer prices remaining elevated throughout the rest of 2008 and falling to 2.4 percent by the end of 2009.

top

 

June, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The BEA’s preliminary estimate of first-quarter real GDP growth was revised up a bit from the advance release (to 0.9 percent at an annualized rate). The Blue Chip consensus economic forecast is predicting that the economy will grow a shade above zero next quarter, before snapping back in the third quarter and rising to near trend growth by the end of 2009.

top

 

May, 2008 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends
Abstract: The CPI rose at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent in April, following a 4.2 percent increase in March. Over the past six months, the CPI has risen 4.5 percent (annualized rate). In contrast to the rather well-behaved headline and core price indexes, the median and 16 percent trimmed-mean CPI measures rose 2.9 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

top

 

May 6, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP grew at an annualized rate of 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2008, the same growth rate as last quarter, according to the advance release by the BEA. Over the past four quarters, real GDP has increased 2.5 percent, slightly below its long term (30-year) average of 3.0 percent. Growth in the first quarter was primarily due to increases in exports and private inventories, which were partly offset by a decrease in private investment and an increase in imports (which subtract from real GDP).

top

 

May 1, 2008 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose at an annualized rate of 4.2 percent in March, returning to its recent elevated trend after a respite in February, when it increased only 0.3 percent (annualized rate). The CPI is up 4.6 percent over the past six months.

top

 

03.31.08 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Real GDP, according to the final estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), was unchanged from both the preliminary and advance estimates, rising at an annualized rate of 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter. While the overall growth rate in GDP remained identical to the advance estimate, the performance of its underlying components changed.

top

 

03.25.08 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends
Abstract: The (CPI) was virtually unchanged from January, rising only 0.3 percent at an annualized rate in February. This moderation from increases of 4.8 percent in January and 4.4 percent in December resulted from a modest increase in food prices, which was offset by a decrease in energy prices, and a slowdown in price appreciation among all items less food and energy.

top

 

03.11.08 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends

top

 

03.07.08 ; Economic Trends

top

 

02.15.08 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends

top

 

02.05.08 ; Economic Trends

top

 

01.09.08 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends

top

 

12.21.07 ; Economic Trends

top

 

12.06.07 ; Economic Trends

top

 

November 29, 2007 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends

top

 

November 7, 2007 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends

top

 

November 1, 2007 ; Economic Trends

top

 

09.27.07 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends

top

 

09.04.07 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends

top

 

09.04.07 ; Paul W Bauer; Economic Trends

top

 

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.

top

 

08.11.07 ; Michael F Bryan; Economic Trends

top

 

08.06.07 ; Timothy Dunne; Economic Trends

top

 

07.18.07 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends

top

 

06.26.07 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends

top

 

05.22.07 ; Timothy Dunne; Economic Trends

top

 

05.16.07 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends

top

 

05.02.07 ; Timothy Dunne; Economic Trends

top

 

05.01.07 ; David E Altig; Economic Trends

top

 

04.18.07 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends

top

 

04.05.07 ; Timothy Dunne; Economic Trends

top

 

03.22.07 ; David E Altig; Economic Trends

top

 

03.21.07 ; Timothy Dunne; Economic Trends

top

 

03.05.07 ; Timothy Dunne; Economic Trends

top

 

02.26.07 ; Timothy Dunne; Economic Trends

top

 

02.22.07 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends

top

 

02.09.07 ; David E Altig; Economic Trends

top

 

02.02.07 ; Timothy Dunne; Economic Trends

top

 

01.24.07 ; Timothy Dunne; Economic Trends

top

 

01.22.07 ; David E Altig; Economic Trends

top

 

01.16.07 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends

top

 

01.02.07 ; David E Altig; Economic Trends

top

 

12.22.06 ; David E Altig; Economic Trends

top

 

12.21.06 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends

top
Title Date Publication Author(s) Type

 

August, 2012 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Measures of underlying inflation produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland—the median CPI and 16 percent trimmed-mean CPI—disagreed on how soft July’s data were. Given the current environment of sluggish GDP growth and an elevated unemployment rate, unwanted disinflation—a slowing in the rate of inflation—may raise some concerns.

top