Suggested citation: "Altered States: A Perspective on 75 Years of State Income Growth,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Annual Report 2005: Altered States: A Perspective on 75 Years of State Income Growth, 12.31.2005.
Vehicle production has fallen since the beginning of the pandemic recession. We investigate reasons for this decline. Manufacturers in this industry cite insufficient materials, including a lack of semiconductors, as increasingly responsible. Demand seems to be less of an issue. In fact, demand has been strong, and together with accelerating prices and sharply declining inventories, it suggests an insufficient supply of new cars. Our best guess is that the materials shortages and their effects on new car prices will subside within the next six to nine months.
Consumers increased their purchases of durable goods notably during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic may have lifted the demand for durable goods directly, by shifting consumer preferences away from services toward a variety of durable goods. It may also have stimulated spending on durable goods indirectly, by prompting a strong fiscal policy response that raised disposable income. We estimate the historical relationship between durable goods spending and income and find that income gains in 2020 accounted for about half of the increase in durable goods spending, indicating that the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic on durable goods spending were about equally important.
In March 2020, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many were concerned about the liquidity of nonbank mortgage servicers. As it turned out, the vast majority of these servicers did not face a liquidity crisis. In this Commentary I detail the reasons why, including lower than expected take up rates of forbearance, the role played by mortgage origination income, and the actions taken by the government-sponsored enterprises, Ginnie Mae, and housing agencies.