Skip to:
  1. Main navigation
  2. Main content
  3. Footer
Economic Commentary

The Problem of Seasonally Adjusting Money

When an impending surge in the money supply filled the financial news in March of this year, the reports stated that the surge would result from above-average income tax refunds and early Social Security payments. Consistent with expectations, M-1 (which includes currency plus checkable deposits) grew 11.8 percent (saar) in April 1982. But personal tax refunds occur every year. And early Social Security payments occur whenever the third day of a month falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday. The fact that these and other effects relate to seasonal or recurring events and can be predicted suggests a serious question. Why doesn't seasonal adjustment of the money supply filter all such movements?

The views authors express in Economic Commentary are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The series editor is Tasia Hane. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This paper and its data are subject to revision; please visit for updates.

Suggested Citation

Carlson, John B. 1982. “The Problem of Seasonally Adjusting Money.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary 5/31/1982.

This work by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International