Margaret Jacobson |

Senior Research Analyst


Margaret Jacobson, Senior Research Analyst

Margaret Jacobson is a senior research analyst in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Her primary interests are macroeconomics, monetary policy, banking, and financial crises.

A native of Carefree, Arizona, Ms. Jacobson earned a BA in economics and French from Oberlin College and studied at Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, France.

  • Fed Publications
Title Date Publication Author(s) Type

 

2014-04 ; Filippo Occhino; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Investment in structures is still 29 percent below its pre-recession peak. Using a new indicator of the level of structures that would be warranted by economic conditions, we find evidence that the level of investment was too high in the first half of the 2000s. This overinvestment created an overhang of structures which has held down the growth of investment in structures during the recovery.

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February, 2014 ; Pedro S Amaral; Economic Trends
Abstract: The US economy finished the year growing at a very healthy pace, with growth in the third quarter at 4.1 percent. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the early part of 2013, and overall, real GDP growth for 2013 was just 1.9 percent, significantly below growth logged in 2012. Investment in inventories, as measured by a statistic called the change in private inventories (CIPI), has been strong. Here we examine CIPI and compare the current recovery with longer recoveries of the past.

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January, 2014 ; Charles T Carlstrom; Economic Trends
Abstract: Some people are worried that ongoing declining inflation could cause problems because the federal funds rate is at zero. But according to a few indicators of inflation expectations, long-term expectations are anchored around the FOMC's target of 2 percent.

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November, 2013 ; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: Economists like to remind people that inflation and deflation are monetary phenomena and that they ultimately stem from central banks’ monetary policies. Inflation results when a nation’s central bank creates more money than its public wants to hold, and deflation occurs when a central bank creates too little. The connection between central banks’ monetary policies and inflation, however, is imprecise and often drawn out over many years. This imprecision happens for two reasons: Not all price changes stem from inflation; some instead reflect an emerging scarcity or abundance of particular goods. And the public’s demand for money, the amount it wants to hold, often is not very stable. Economists can, however, employ a simple technique that helps us see more clearly the relationship between money and price movements.

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October, 2013 ; Murat Tasci; Economic Trends
Abstract: A number of factors are putting the pace of labor market improvements on center stage for many financial market observers. In this article, we provide a broad summary of the changes in the major labor market measures for the US economy over the last year.

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October, 2013 ; Charles T Carlstrom; Economic Trends
Abstract: Since the onset of the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has been using two main tools to carry out its monetary policy. First, there is quantitative easing and second, there is a promise to keep the federal funds rate low for an extended period. Both tools work better when the Fed clearly communicates potential changes to the public. In order for Fed policy to effectively stimulate the economy today, the public needs to have a good understanding of how the balance sheet will evolve over time (which is determined primarily by security purchases) and when the funds rate will rise.

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July, 2013 ; Todd E Clark; Economic Trends
Abstract: Various indicators show that CPI inflation has declined over the past year or so. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent release of the Consumer Price Index shows an annualized increase of 5.9 percent for the month of June, CPI inflation has been very low for many months of the year.

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May, 2013 ; Filippo Occhino; Economic Trends
Abstract: Business fixed investment remains below its pre-recession peak, mainly due to the delayed recovery of one of its components, investment in nonresidential structures (factories, office buildings, etc.). One reason for the slow recovery is the overhang of structures that had been built before the recession.

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April, 2013 ; Economic Trends
Abstract: Natural gas production in the United States has surged, thanks to innovations and expansions of shale drilling activity. Though the boom has the potential to affect the broader economy, its impact on the trade deficit has thus far been small.

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March, 2013 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 13-04 ; Ellis W Tallman; Working Papers
Abstract: Caught between the end of the National Banking Era and the beginning of the Federal Reserve System, the crisis of 1914 provides an example of a banking panic avoided. We investigate how this outcome was achieved by examining data on the issues of Aldrich-Vreeland emergency currency and clearing house loan certificates to New York City institutions that identify the borrower and the quantity requested for each type of temporary liquidity measure. The extensive provision of temporary credit to a wide array of financial intermediaries was, in our opinion, essential to the successful alleviation of financial distress in 1914. Empirical results indicate an important role for clearing house loan certificates that is distinct from the influence of Aldrich-Vreeland emergency currency issues.

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February, 2013 ; Filippo Occhino; Economic Trends
Abstract: The current level of real GDP is 11.4 percent below the forecast that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) made back in 2007, before the beginning of the crisis. In this article, we explore the lower-than-expected output and recently revised forecasts.

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January, 2013 ; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: Japan’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has been concerned about the yen’s appreciation and has attributed the yen’s behavior to exceptionally easy monetary policies abroad. To remedy the situation, he has asked the Bank of Japan to ease up on monetary policy by doubling its inflation objective and expanding its asset purchase program to that end. Although an easier monetary policy could lower the yen and lift Japan from deflation, the yen’s past appreciation has not obviously hampered the competitive position of Japan’s trade sector and does not seem overvalued.

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December, 2012 ; Pedro S Amaral; Sara Millington; Economic Trends
Abstract: While the third-quarter’s real GDP growth rate of 2.7 percent was an improvement over the second quarter’s 1.3 percent, it may turn out to be the best in a lackluster year, as most forecasters are currently predicting that growth will slow down in the fourth quarter. The labor market has been front and center in the minds of economists as they have been evaluating growth prospects. The Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed’s monetary policymaking body, is no exception.

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October, 2012 ; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: The overall public-debt burden of the world’s most advanced countries is approaching levels not seen since the Second World War—levels that could damage their future growth prospects. The outlook is still cloudy, but this much seems clear: To the extent that public debts absorb private savings that otherwise would support private investment, long-term economic growth will suffer.

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October, 2012 ; Filippo Occhino; Economic Trends
Abstract: The economy continues to expand at a slow pace. The recent subpar growth rates, together with the pattern of productivity and hours worked, suggest that the trend level of real GDP is growing slower than in the past. Here, we investigate this issue, looking for evidence on the current and long-run growth rates of the real GDP trend.

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2012-13 ; Filippo Occhino; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Labor income has been declining as a share of total income earned in the United States for the past three decades. We look at the past effect of the labor share decline on income inequality, and we study the likely future path of the labor share and its implications for inequality.

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August, 2012 ; Pedro S Amaral; Economic Trends
Abstract: The ratio of exports to GDP has been growing at a far faster rate in the current recovery than in an average one. Why are exports growing at an unprecedented pace while the rest of the economy remains sluggish?

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August, 2012 ; Filippo Occhino; Economic Trends
Abstract: Since the end of the recession, the economy has expanded at a slow pace. It has missed out on the period of rapid recovery that typically follows business cycle troughs, and it has been growing quite steadily at rates lower than in past expansions. We examine the factors behind these subpar growth rates and present some evidence that moderate growth may be the norm going forward.

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August, 2012 ; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: With economies drifting into the doldrums, central banks are looking for ways to hoist more sail. Recently, the Bank of England unfurled its Funding for Lending Scheme, an economic jib of sorts that hopes to spur household and business loans. The Scheme will begin on August 1, 2012, and continue through 2013. Central bankers around the globe are keenly interested.

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June, 2012 ; Pedro S Amaral; Economic Trends
Abstract: The second estimate for real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2011 came in at 1.9 percent, a decrease from the previously estimated 2.2 percent. By now, everybody is well-aware that the current recovery is a slow one. We examine the evolution of GDP in this recession to the average post-WWII recession.

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May, 2012 ; Filippo Occhino; Economic Trends
Abstract: Investment activity accelerated during the 1990s, remained elevated until the 2007 recession, and then returned to lower, more typical levels. We explore whether this pattern has anything to do with the slowness of the current recovery.

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April, 2012 ; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: Since its inception in 1999, the euro has gained ground against the dollar as an official reserve—a currency that foreign governments hold to facilitate their transactions in foreign-exchange markets. Persistent trade deficits since 1982, coupled with a broad-based depreciation of the dollar after 2002, have encouraged a marked shift out of dollars and into euros. The Great Recession and the European sovereign debt crisis have recently stalled the euro’s ascent as the key reserve currency, but not the diversification out of dollars. The intriguing, but unanswered, question is: what currencies are now replacing the dollar, the euro, and the other traditional reserve currencies in these portfolios?

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March, 2012 ; Dionissi Aliprantis; Economic Trends
Abstract: Median household income growth has slowed in the United States over the last decade. The earnings of full-time workers play an important role in income trends, and the median earnings for all workers have grown more slowly since 2000 than they did in the 1990s.

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February, 2012 ; Filippo Occhino; Economic Trends
Abstract: Labor income, which includes wages, salaries, and benefits, has been declining as a share of total income earned in the U.S. Here, we look at the cyclical and long-run factors behind this development.

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January, 2012 ; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: Since mid-2010, the Chinese renminbi has steadily appreciated against the dollar. Many here hope that a more expensive renminbi will induce a proportional rise in the prices of Chinese goods and take some of the sting out of China’s competitive bite. They may, however, be disappointed. The relationship between exchange—rate changes and import prices is often loose—more like a swing dance than a tango.

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December, 2011 ; Pedro S Amaral; Economic Trends
Abstract: Why are interest rates on U.S. sovereign debt so much lower than those of Greece, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, and Spain? The usual suspects--debt-to-GDP ratios and growth prospects--don't seem to explain the interest rate spreads we're seeing. We offer a few more likely reasons.

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November, 2011 ; Mehmet Pasaogullari; Economic Trends
Abstract: Earlier this year average consumer prices increased in the United States, largely due to increases in food and energy prices. Since then, the inflationary pressure brought on by energy prices has been largely alleviated. A similar trend has happened in most other developed countries.

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November, 2011 Vol. 2, No. 3 ; Doug Campbell; Forefront
Abstract: A look at survey data on household sentiment shows the recession's impact across a range of demographic groups, including young people and the middle-class.

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November, 2011 ; Filippo Occhino; Economic Trends
Abstract: After feeble growth in the first half of the year, third-quarter data came out a little stronger, suggesting that the recovery is continuing and the risk of recession is reduced. According to the advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real GDP grew at a 2.5 annualized percent rate in the third quarter, accelerating from its 0.8 annualized percent growth rate in the first half of the year.

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October, 2011 ; Pedro S Amaral; Economic Trends
Abstract: After hitting a peak sometime in the middle of 2010, the economic recovery seems to have stalled. This observation seems to be true not only of the U.S. economy, but also of other developed economies and some emerging economies. Both developed and emerging economies are facing very uncertain times. As a result, consumers and businesses are wary of using their funds and are playing it safe.

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September, 2011 ; Filippo Occhino; Economic Trends
Abstract: Economic activity has slowed markedly in recent months. After growing 3.14 percent in 2010, real GDP grew at a rate of only 0.7 percent during the first half of 2011. This unexpected deceleration has raised doubts about the outlook. Are we still to expect a stronger recovery? Or is a double-dip recession on its way?

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August, 2011 ; Filippo Occhino; Economic Trends
Abstract: Three and a half years after the beginning of the recession, real GDP is still below its pre-recession peak. One reason is that firms’ investment (private nonresidential fixed investment) has not recovered. This behavior is unusual compared to past business cycles, when investment returned to its pre-recession peak level much more rapidly.

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August, 2011 ; Robert Sadowski; Economic Trends
Abstract: When asked about domestic oil and natural gas production and where most of it occurs, people will likely reply: the region surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. This response is correct. Historically, states in the Fourth District have also played an important role in oil and natural gas production. The Fourth District is now positioned to make a comeback as a major domestic energy producer due to exploration and production in the Marcellus and Utica shales.

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August, 2011 ; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: The United States has run a current-account deficit almost every year since 1982, primarily because U.S. residents have imported more goods and services than they have exported. We finance this deficit by issuing financial claims—such things as stocks, bonds, and bank accounts—to the rest of the world. Since 1986, foreigners have held more claims on the United States than U.S. residents have held on the rest of the world, leaving the United States with—in econspeak—a negative net international investment position.

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August, 2011 ; Joseph G Haubrich; Economic Trends
Abstract: Over the past month, the yield curve barely moved. The three-month Treasury bill rate rose to 0.03 percent and the ten-year rate rose to 2.97. The slope stayed constant at 294 basis points, remaining at its lowest level since last November. Projecting forward using past values of the spread and GDP growth suggests that real GDP will grow at about a 0.8 percent rate over the next year, and based on calculations using the yield curve, we estimate that the chance of the economy being in a recession next June is 1.7 percent.

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May, 2011 ; Pedro S Amaral; Economic Trends
Abstract: The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that real GDP grew at an annual equivalent rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2011, down from a pace of 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. On the surface, this substantial deceleration owes much to reductions in defense spending, nonresidential structures, as well as to increases in imports. The question we explore here is whether this slowdown is likely to be temporary.

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May, 2011 ; Owen F Humpage; Economic Trends
Abstract: China’s inflation, which reached 5.4 percent on a year-over-year basis in March, is largely a product of that country’s desire to closely manage the renminbi-dollar exchange rate. Over the past decade and a half, China has alternated between exchange-rate pegs or controlled renminbi appreciations, and foreign-exchange reserves have poured into the country. China and many other countries that closely manage their exchange rates blame commodity prices—typically expressed in dollars—and an easy U.S. monetary policy for fanning global inflation. Is there a solution?

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