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Monday, August 09, 2010

"Future Recession Risks"

Here's part of the introduction and conclusion from the latest SF Fed Economic Letter by Travis J. Berge and Òscar Jordà. They find that "the macroeconomic outlook is likely to deteriorate progressively starting sometime next summer":

Future Recession Risks, by Travis J. Berge and Òscar Jordà, Economic Letter, SF Fed: By now, there is little disagreement that the Great Recession, as the last recession is often called, ended sometime in the summer of 2009 (see Jordà 2010), even though the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has yet to formally announce the date of the trough in economic activity that marks the beginning of the current expansion phase. Intriguingly, just as we seemed to be leaving the recession behind, talk of a double dip became increasingly loud. ... A quick look at the number of Google searches and news items for the term "double-dip recession" reveals no activity prior to August 29, 2009, but a dramatic increase in search volume since then, especially in the past two months. Such concern is likely motivated by a string of poor economic news. ... It is understandable that the NBER has hesitated to call the end of the recession.
This spate of bad news has prompted a heated policy debate pitting those eager to mop up the gush of public debt generated by the recession and the fiscal stimulus package designed to counter it against those who would prefer to douse the glowing recession embers with another round of stimulus. ... In this Economic Letter, we calculate the likelihood that the economy will fall back into recession during the next two years. ...
Conclusion Any forecast 24 months into the future is very uncertain. ... Nevertheless, [Leading Economic Indicator] LEI forecast trends indicate that the macroeconomic outlook is likely to deteriorate progressively starting sometime next summer, even if the data suggest that a renewed recession is unlikely over the next several months. Of course, economic policy can strongly influence the outcome. The policies that are adopted today could play a decisive role in shaping the pace of growth.

We shall see what policies are adopted by the Fed today that "could play a decisive role in shaping the pace of growth," or at least we'll find out on Wednesday when the Fed announces the outcome if its latest FOMC meeting. But it sounds like, as Tim Duy said, opinion within the Fed is that the Fed needs to be more aggressive.

    Posted by on Monday, August 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM in Economics, Monetary Policy | Permalink  Comments (18)


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