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2006 Economic Trends

  • The Youngstown Metropolitan Statistical Area


    The Youngstown metropolitan statistical area, home to more than half a million people, comprises three counties in Northern Ohio and Pennsylvania. Youngstown is traditionally thought of as an area heavily invested in manufacturing. Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    Another year heads into the barn, bows out, comes full circle, folds its tent, fades into the sunset. Any way you say it, 2006 will soon be history. Everyone’s view of the year is colored by their values, expectations, and vantage point. Read More

  • The Currency Composition of International Reserves


    The U.S. dollar is the world’s key international reserve currency. Many countries—particularly developing and oil-exporting nations—have amassed huge foreign-exchange portfolios. Read More

  • Money and Financial Markets


    We know that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    At its October 25 meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee left the target federal funds rate unchanged at 5.25% for the third consecutive time. Likewise, the Board of Governors left the primary credit rate at 6.25%. Read More

  • Latin America's Economic Prospects


    The economic outlook for developing countries in the Western Hemisphere is one of the brightest in decades. According to the International Monetary Fund, the region is likely to post real economic growth. Read More

  • Labor Markets


    Nonfarm payrolls grew by 132,000 in November. This moderate increase was accompanied by the Labor Department’s net upward revision of 84,000 jobs for the previous two months. Read More

  • Labor Costs


    Unit labor costs, relatively stagnant since 2002, are showing signs of an upward trend. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined sharply in October for the second straight month, falling at a 5.8% annualized rate. However, the core inflation measures continued steady, with monthly growth rates about the same as their longer-term trends. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    The Fourth District’s unemployment rate was 5.0% in October, down 0.3 percentage point (pp) from the previous month and 0.7 pp from the previous year. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.2% in 2006:IIIQ, according to the Commerce Department’s preliminary estimate. This upward revision of 0.6% was largely unanticipated, the consensus growth estimate having been 1.8%. Read More

  • Credit Unions


    Credit unions are mutually organized depository institutions that provide financial services to their members. Read More

  • The Minimum Wage


    The federal minimum wage has remained at $5.15 per hour since 1997. At that rate, a full-time worker would make $10,712 per year, about $9,000 below the poverty line for a family of four with no other family income. Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    Inflation—the rate at which the purchasing power of money declines—is a big deal. In his 1931 Essays in Persuasion, John Maynard Keynes wrote, “The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.” Read More

  • Money and Financial Markets


    Although they have trended up from their 2003 trough, long-term interest rates remain low by historical standards. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) left the target federal funds rate at 5.25% on October 25, the third consecutive meeting with no change. Read More

  • Labor Markets


    Nonfarm payrolls increased a moderate 92,000 in October, boosted by a net upward revision of 139,000 jobs for August and September. Although October’s increase was below expectations, the 3-month average of 157,000 was in line with the recent trend. Read More

  • Labor Force Participation


    Unemployment rates have fallen during the economy’s recovery from the 2001 recession, partly because increasing numbers of people do not participate in the labor force. Read More

  • Labor Force Changes in the Euro Area


    The European Central Bank’s October bulletin focuses on the euro area’s changing demographics. As an area becomes more developed, its birthrate begins to decline and life expectancy increases. Read More

  • International Growth and Inflation


    This is the 4th consecutive year of strong output growth in the current global expansion. Output increased rapidly in early 2006, leading the International Monetary Fund’s most recent World Economic Outlook to project a 5.1% increase in real GDP. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell at a 5.7% annualized rate during September, its sharpest one-month decline this year and a dramatic reversal of the 3% rise the index posted the previous month. Read More

  • Higher Education in the Fourth District


    According to the 2005 American Community Survey, 16.9% of West Virginia residents aged 25 and older hold a bachelor’s degree. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    The Fourth District’s unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage point (pp) to 5.2% in September. Over the month, employment rose 0.7%, unemployment fell 8.7%, and the labor force increased 0.2%. Read More

  • Foreign Banks in the U.S.


    Foreign banks are becoming more competitive with the U.S. domestic banking industry. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    Real GDP increased at an annualized rate of 1.6% in 2006:IIIQ, according to the Commerce Department’s advance estimate. Read More

  • Business Loan Markets


    Credit availability for businesses improved at a slower rate in 2006:IIIQ, according to the Federal Reserve’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey. Read More

  • The Income Component of the Current Account


    The U.S. current account deficit grew from $852.8 billion in 2006:IQ to $873.4 billion in 2006:IIQ (annualized rates). Most of the increase reflected a wider deficit in U.S. goods trade... Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    I ran into Walter Badgett in the frozen food section of the grocery store. I’ve known Wally nearly all my life—we grew up in the same neighborhood. We were close back then but we’d lost touch over time, like so many friends. Read More

  • The American Community Survey


    The U.S. Census Bureau recently released the results of its 2005 American Community Survey, an annual assessment of demographic, socioeconomic and housing characteristics for different geographic entities throughout the nation. Read More

  • Sources of Job Creation


    The cover story of the September 25 edition of Business Week highlighted a fact about job creation in the U.S. since March 2001, the beginning of the last recession: Over 1.5 million more jobs were created than lost in health-care industries. Read More

  • Nonfuel Commodity Prices


    While oil prices dominate the headlines, the prices of many other commodities have been rocketing upward. The International Monetary Fund’s recent World Economic Outlook investigates trends and suggests where commodity prices might be headed. Read More

  • Money and Financial Markets


    Interest rates have dropped slightly over the past month, but the yield curve continues its inversion (short rates higher than long ones), with a curious peak at the six-month maturity. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    The Federal Open Market Committee left the target federal funds rate unchanged at 5.25% on September 20, the second meeting in a row with no change. Read More

  • Labor Markets


    Nonfarm payrolls stalled in September, increasing by only 51,000. This weakness was partly offset by an upward revision of 60,000 jobs from the August level of 128,000, but payrolls were still well below expectations. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    Retail price growth remained elevated in August: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 3.0%, and the core CPI, which excludes the more volatile food and energy prices, rose 2.9% (annualized rates). Read More

  • Gender Differences in the Job Tenure


    The September release of data on employee tenure showed few changes since 2000. We show the median number of years a worker 25 or older has been with their current employer. Some studies indicate that longer tenure is associated with higher wages. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    The Fourth District’s unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 5.6% in August. Employment increased 0.1%, unemployment decreased 0.6%, and the labor force grew 0.1% over the month. Read More

  • Fourth District Commercial Banks


    FDIC-insured commercial banks headquartered in the Fourth Federal Reserve District posted net income of $5.6 billion for the first two quarters of 2006, or $11.21 billion on an annual basis. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    The Bureau of Economic Analysis has now released its second, and for this year final, revision of estimated growth in gross domestic product (GDP) for 2006:IIQ. The surprises were minimal. Read More

  • The U.S. Trade Balance


    The nominal U.S. trade deficit reached an all-time high of $66.6 billion in October 2005. Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    I didn’t think very much about China or India when I was growing up. I knew they were there, of course, on the other side of the globe—large countries with very large populations. Read More

  • The Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area


    Like many other Fourth District metropolitan areas, Dayton is more focused on manufacturing than the U.S.: The metro area has proportionately more manufacturing workers. Read More

  • Mortgage Lending


    Mortgage bankers originated $590 billion of new mortgages in 2006:IQ and $633 billion in 2006:IIQ, the lowest first- and second-quarter increases since 2002. Read More

  • Money and Financial Markets


    Throughout the summer, the 10-year Treasury note yield has been below that of the one-year Treasury bill, implying an inverted yield curve in that range of maturities. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    On August 8, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to leave the federal funds rate at 5.25%, the first pause since June 2004. Read More

  • Labor Utilization


    At its August 8 meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) expressed concern that “high levels of resource utilization” could potentially sustain inflation. Growing labor utilization is reflected in falling unemployment rates. Read More

  • Labor Markets


    Nonfarm payrolls increased by 128,000 in August, a number identical to the three-month average of 128,000. Service-producing industries drove the increase, adding 118,000 jobs. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    The broad-based rise in retail prices, which began in March, was still evident in July. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 5.5%; the core CPI, which excludes presumably more volatile food and energy prices, rose a more modest 2.4% (annualized rate). Read More

  • Housing Markets


    In case you haven’t heard, the Great Housing Boom of the Early Millennium appears to be over. Certainly the July data for both existing and new home sales disappointed most expectations, which were modest to begin with. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    The Fourth District’s unemployment rate was 5.7% in July, up from 5.1% a month earlier. Although the District is still below its recent peak of 6.5% in June 2003, the jump of 0.6 percentage point (pp) is its largest one-month increase on record. Read More

  • FDIC Funds


    FDIC-insured deposits grew 3.7% in the first two quarters of 2006. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    Sometimes it’s what you thought you knew that hurts the most. On July 28, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released one of its regular revisions in the National Income and Product Accounts. Read More

  • The Toledo Metropolitan Area


    Toledo, Ohio, had 331,000 jobs in 2005, which made it the Fourth District’s seventh-largest metropolitan statistical area in terms of employment. Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    By the time you read this, the August 8 FOMC meeting will be history, but as I write, the event looms ahead. Read More

  • Taylor Rules and Monetary Policy


    Monetary policy is often described as a rule or strategy for changing the federal funds rate. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    Markets suggest that we may be nearing the first pause after federal funds rate increases of 25 points (bp) at each of 17 consecutive FOMC meetings. Read More

  • Labor Markets


    Employment has grown steadily over the past three months. In July, nonfarm payrolls increased by 113,000, which was less than the average monthly increase for 2005 (165,000), but in line with the 112,000 average monthly gain for 2006:IIQ. Read More

  • Job Openings and Labor Turnover


    The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey measures the number of unfilled jobs, an important component of unmet labor demand. The survey, begun in 2001, provides data on employment, job openings, hires, quits, layoffs, and other separations. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    Inflation remained elevated in June. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.4% (annualized rate) during the month, following a 5.5% (annualized rate) advance in May. Read More

  • Industrial Loan Corporations


    Industrial loan corporations and industrial banks (collectively known as ILCs) are FDIC-insured, state chartered depository institutions. Unlike traditional commercial banks, they can be owned by nonfinancial firms, such as Target and General Motors. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    The Fourth District’s unemployment rate fell to 5.2% in May, down from 5.5% in April. Over the month, employment increased 0.1%, the number of unemployed people fell 4.7%, and the labor force shrank 0.1%. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    Real GDP increased at an annualized rate of 2.5% in 2006:IIQ, according to the Commerce Department’s advance estimate. This was a sharp decrease from the previous quarter’s annualized growth rate of 5.6% and somewhat less than was generally expected. Read More

  • China and the Inflation Threat


    China’s GDP advanced 11.3% on a year-over-year basis in 2006:IIQ, mostly thanks to vigorous exports and very strong investment spending. Read More

  • Business Loan Markets


    For most of the past year, the Federal Reserve Board’s Senior Loan Officer Survey has shown continued improvement in credit availability for businesses. Read More

  • The Fourth District's Daytime Population


    People usually think of population in terms of residents the number of people living in an area. That number can change significantly during the day, however, because some people commute to work in an area different from that in which they live. Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    People often ask me to recommend books about economics but now, with the onset of summer, I am getting requests for “beach books” on the dismal science. Read More

  • Money and Financial Markets


    Although long-term interest rates have trended upward from their 2003 trough, they remain low by historical standards. Some view this as the consequence of a savings glut in developing countries, especially in Asia. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    On June 29, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised its target for the federal funds rate 25 basis points (bp), taking it to 5.25%. Read More

  • Low-Wage Workers


    Last year, nearly two million workers, or about 1 1/2% of all wage and salary workers, earned the prevailing federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour—or less. Read More

  • Labor Markets


    Nonfarm payroll growth was muted in June, showing a net increase of only 121,000 jobs. In 2006:IIQ, payroll growth averaged 108,000 per month, less than the average monthly increase of 169,000 jobs during the previous four quarters. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    Inflation pressures intensified further in May. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) continued to accelerate, rising at an annualized rate of 5.5%. Read More

  • Global Market Developments


    In recent weeks, equities markets have taken a tumble. Although falling stock prices are nothing new, the scope of the recent downturn makes it noteworthy. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    The Fourth District’s unemployment rate rose from 5.1% in March to 5.5% in April, largely because the estimated number of unemployed rose 8.3%. Read More

  • Fourth District Banking Conditions


    FDIC-insured commercial banks headquartered in the Fourth Federal Reserve District posted net income of $2.74 billion for 2006:IQ ($10.94 billion on an annual basis), up about 1% from 2005. Read More

  • Educational Attainment in the Fourth District


    In the Fourth District states, 84.6% of the residents who were 25 or older in 2004 had attained a high school diploma, slightly beating the national average of 83.9%. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 5.6% in 2006:IQ, according to the Commerce Department’s final estimate, which was 0.3 percentage point (pp) above the preliminary estimate of 5.3%. Read More

  • The Lexington Metropolitan Area


    The Lexington area is an economically important component of the Fourth District. In terms of employment, it is the ninth-largest metro area in the District and the second largest in Kentucky. Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    To better understand today’s economic and policy environment, go back about 10 years. The stock market was running in high gear, but some market observers began to predict a major market correction, especially in the tech-sector-rich NASDAQ. Read More

  • Petrodollars


    The price of oil has risen fairly steadily, from $20 per barrel in 2002 to $60–$70 this year. Read More

  • Native- and Foreign-Born Workers


    In 2005, foreign-born workers (legally admitted and undocumented immigrants, refugees, and temporary residents) represented about 15% of the labor force, up from about 11% in 1996. Read More

  • Money and Financial Markets


    The inversion of the yield curve observed earlier this year has nearly disappeared. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    On May 10, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to raise the intended federal funds rate 25 basis points (bp) to 5.00%. Read More

  • Labor Markets


    Nonfarm payroll growth was 75,000 in May, the third straight month it slowed. Net job gains in March and April were revised down a combined 37,000, to 175,000 and 126,000, respectively. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    Inflation pressures remained elevated in April. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 7.5% (annualized rate) in April, accelerating from its three- and 12-month trends. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    The Fourth District’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1% in March from 5.4% a month earlier. Employment in the District was up compared to both February (0.4%) and March 2005 (1.4%). Read More

  • Foreign Banking Organizations


    The U.S. banking industry shows the impact of financial markets’ increasing globalization. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 5.3% in 2006:IQ, according to the preliminary estimate released by the Commerce Department. Read More

  • Banking Structure


    Passage of the 1994 Reigle–Neal Act, which regulates interstate banking, has spurred the consolidation of depository institutions. Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    Last Saturday morning, when I asked my teenage daughter what her plans were for the evening, she told me she wasn’t sure. Read More

  • The American Auto Industry


    In the past 20 years, American automakers have lost market share to their foreign-based rivals. In 1985, American-brand vehicles accounted for about 74% of U.S. passenger vehicle purchases. Read More

  • Money and Financial Markets


    Market participants now place nearly even probabilities on a pause and a 25 bp funds rate hike in June. Federal funds futures foretell a further 50 bp increase in the funds rate by the end of October. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    Since the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) increased the intended federal funds rate to 4.75% on March 28, 2006, market participants’ views on expected course of policy have shifted. Read More

  • Labor Markets


    Nonfarm payroll growth was slightly less vigorous in April than earlier this year: Employment increased by 138,000 jobs, less than the expected 200,000 and below the average monthly gain of 171,000 jobs over the previous 12 months. Read More

  • Job Openings and Labor Turnover


    Since the beginning of 2004, employment growth has been solid: Average monthly payroll gains have reached 170,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate has gone down to 4.7%— the lowest level in nearly four years. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    Inflation pressures intensified in March. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose at a 4.3% annualized rate, after holding steady in February. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    The Fourth District’s unemployment rate in February was 5.5%, up from 5.3% a month earlier. Read More

  • FDIC Funds


    In 2005, deposits insured by the FDIC’s Bank Insurance Fund (BIF) grew at a 7.51% annual rate, and those insured by the Savings Association Insurance Fund (SAIF) at 7.36%. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 4.8% in 2006:IQ, according to the Commerce Department’s advance estimate; this was 3.1 percentage points (pp) higher than the final estimate of 1.7% for growth in 2005:IVQ. Read More

  • Domestic Migration


    Population change has two sources: natural increase (births and deaths) and migration, domestic and international. Read More

  • Business Loan Markets


    Credit availability for businesses continued to improve in 2005 and early 2006, according to the Federal Reserve’s Senior Loan Officer Survey. Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    In the February 2005 Monetary Policy Report, FOMC projected that real GDP would increase at a rate of 3%, inflation as measured by the core PCE would increase at a rate of roughly 1.75% percent, and unemployment rate would register 5.12% in Q4. Read More

  • Productivity Measures


    Multifactor productivity (MFP) represents the effects on output growth of many factors, including new technologies, economies of scale, managerial skill, and changes in the organization of production. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    On March 28, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to raise the intended federal funds rate 25 basis points (bp) to 4.75%. Read More

  • Labor Markets


    Nonfarm payrolls grew by 211,000 jobs in March, surpassing expectations of 190,000. Gains for January and February, however, were revised down by a combined 34,000 jobs. Over the last 12 months, monthly employment growth has averaged 174,000. Read More

  • Japan Ends Quantitative Easing


    The Japanese economy may finally be awakening from its big sleep. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose a mere 0.6% (annualized rate) in February, after rising at a brisk annualized rate of 8.2% in January. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    In January, the Fourth District’s unemployment rate was 5.3%. Compared to December, this is muddled because the January estimate reflects an annual revision process that has not yet been incorporated into historical figures. Read More

  • Employment in the Cleveland Metropolitan Area


    The Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH, metropolitan statistical area (MSA) had 2.14 million residents in 2003, making it Ohio’s most populous MSA. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    The Commerce Department’s final reading of real GDP growth for 2005:IVQ was 1.7%, up 0.1 percentage point (pp) from February’s preliminary reading. Read More

  • Commercial Banks


    FDIC-insured commercial banks headquartered in the Fourth Federal Reserve District posted net income of $10.84 billion in 2005, a 7.3% increase from 2004. Read More

  • Central Bank Independence


    New Zealand has succeeded dramatically in lowering inflation. Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    Participants in the federal funds futures market expect the Federal Open Market Committee to raise the funds rate target by 25 basis points at each of the next two policy meetings. Read More

  • The Current Account and Dollar Depreciation


    In 2005, the U.S. current account deficit will reach an estimated $783 billion or about 6.3% of GDP. Globally, current account balances must sum to zero. Read More

  • The Columbus Metropolitan Area


    Columbus is Ohio’s third-largest metropolitan area, with over 1.5 million residents. Read More

  • Oil Prices


    In November 2005, the two largest exporters of oil to the U.S. were its neighbors. Canada and Mexico combined accounted for about 30% of total U.S. oil imports, up from about 27% five years earlier. Read More

  • Money and Financial Markets


    Long-term interest rates remain low by historical standards, posing something of a conundrum. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    On January 31, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to raise the target level of the federal funds rate 25 basis points (bp) to 4.50%. Read More

  • Labor Costs


    Labor costs account for roughly 70% of firms’ production costs. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose at the brisk annualized rate of 8.2% in January, nearly reversing the declines of the preceding two months. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    The Fourth District’s unemployment rate rose 0.1% in December to 5.9%. In contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 5.0% to 4.9%. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    The Commerce Department’s preliminary reading of real GDP growth for 2005:IVQ was 1.6%, up 0.5 percentage point (pp) from January’s advance reading. Read More

  • Credit Unions


    Credit unions are mutually organized depository institutions that provide financial services to their members. Read More

  • Women in the Workforce


    Women’s labor force participation rose from about 43% in 1970 to roughly 59% in December 2005. Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    Conventional wisdom—in other words, the central tendency of professional forecasters—holds that 2006 and 2007 will be decent years for the U.S. economy. Read More

  • Money and Financial Markets


    The recent flattening of the yield curve has generated significant controversy. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    On January 31, 2006, in its last meeting under Chairman Alan Greenspan, the Federal Open Market Committee raised the target federal funds rate by 25 basis points (bp) to 4.50%. Read More

  • Labor Markets


    Nonfarm payrolls grew by 193,000 in January, reflecting the annual benchmarking process and updated seasonal factors. November’s increase was revised to 354,000 jobs and December's to 140,000. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) continued its decline in December, falling at a 0.6% annualized rate, after plummeting 6.4% (annualized) in November. Read More

  • Fourth District Population


    In 2004, 16.9 million people—or 5.7% of the U.S. population—called the Fourth District home. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    The Fourth District’s unemployment rate remained at 5.8% in November. Over the month, both the number of employed people and the size of the labor force fell 0.1%. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    The Commerce Department’s advance reading of real GDP growth for 2005:IVQ was 1.1%, well below expectations. Read More

  • Dark Matter and the International Payments Problem


    A 23-year string of current account deficits has left foreigners holding substantial—and still growing—financial claims against the U.S. Read More

  • Business Loan Markets


    Credit availability for businesses continued to improve in 2005, according to the Federal Reserve’s Senior Loan Officer Survey. Read More

  • Banking Structure


    Passage of the 1994 Reigle–Neal Act, which regulates interstate banking, has spurred the consolidation of depository institutions. Read More

  • U.S. and Fourth District Poverty Rates


    The poverty rate is the percentage of people whose family income falls below an officially determined threshold, which varies by family size and composition. Read More

  • Unemployment in the Economic Expansion


    During the current economic expansion, the unemployment rate has fallen from a peak of 6.3% in June 2003 to 5.0% in November 2005, consistent with rates in the mid-1990s. Read More

  • The Economy in Perspective


    Mark Sniderman

    For reasons that have never been clear, economists are invariably asked to give outlook talks at the beginning of each year... Read More

  • The Economies of OECD Nations


    In November, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the preliminary version of its second biannual Economic Outlook. Read More

  • Money and Financial Markets


    Implied yields on Eurodollar futures show that market participants expect a pause in policy tightening in 2006. Read More

  • Monetary Policy


    On December 13, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the intended federal funds rate 25 basis points (bp) to 4.25%. Read More

  • Labor Markets


    Job growth was robust in 2005: Payroll employment, having increased by 2.0 million jobs during the year, finally exceeded the level it reached at the peak of the most recent economic expansion, in March 2001. Read More

  • Inflation and Prices


    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined at an annualized rate of 6.4% in November, its largest monthly drop in more than 55 years. Read More

  • Fourth District Employment


    The Fourth District’s unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point in October to 5.8%. Read More

  • Fourth District Banks


    FDIC-insured commercial banks headquartered in the Fourth Federal Reserve District posted net income of $8.29 billion for the first three quarters of 2005 or $11.06 billion on an annual basis. Read More

  • Economic Activity


    The Commerce Department’s final reading of 4.1% real GDP growth for 2005:IIIQ was 0.8 percentage point (pp) higher than the 3.3% estimate for the second quarter. Read More