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A guide to tracking the U.S. economy

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  • Kliesen, Kevin L.

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

Abstract

Analyzing and forecasting the performance and direction of a large, complex economy like that of the United States is a difficult task. The process involves parsing a great deal of data, understanding key economic relationships, and assessing which events or factors might cause monetary or fiscal policymakers to change policy. One purpose of this article is to reinforce several key principles that are useful for tracking the U.S. economy’s performance in real time. Two principles stand out: First, the economy is regularly hit by unexpected economic disturbances (shocks) that policymakers and forecasting models cannot predict. Second, most key data used to measure the economy and track its performance are often revised—and by substantial amounts.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): 96 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 35-54

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:00016

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  1. Michele Boldrin & Carlos Garriga & Adrian Peralta-Alva & Juan M. Sánchez, 2013. "Reconstructing the great recession," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 2013-006, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Kliesen, Kevin L. & Owyang, Michael T. & Vermann, E. Katarina, 2012. "Disentangling diverse measures: a survey of financial stress indexes," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 369-398.
  3. Kevin L. Kliesen & Michael W. McCracken & Linpeng Zheng, 2011. "Initial claims and employment growth: are we at the threshold?," Economic Synopses, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  4. Bagehot, Walter, 1873. "Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number bagehot1873.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
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