Tuesday , October 24 2017
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Econbrowser – James Hamilton

Prospects for Economic Activity in Wisconsin

My last two posts [1] [2] on the Wisconsin economy refer to employment. A broader measure of economic activity, meant to track state Gross Domestic Product, is provided by the Philadelphia Fed’s coincident indices. That indicator for Wisconsin is currently decreasing; the October 2 release (for the index through August) indicate the most recent peak was June, and has been declining since. This is shown in Figure 1. Moreover, the leading index points to continued contraction over the next six...

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In Case You Forgot: Wisconsin Still 29,400 Below Governor Walker’s Promised 250,000 New Jobs by January 2015

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development touts employment growth. Here is a graph comparing reported employment and Walker’s August 2013 promise (which reader Alan Goldhammer reminds me of). Figure 1: Wisconsin private nonfarm payroll employment (blue), and path promised by Walker in August 2013 (red). The light green shaded period pertains to data that has not yet been benchmarked using QCEW data. Source: BLS, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, author’s calculations. The release notes:...

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One for the Annals of Selective Data Reporting: Wisconsin Edition

Around midmonth I often check the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to see their reporting of state employment statistics in advance of the BLS release (tomorrow, for the September figures). Oddly, today, the DWD released statistics for September, without any detailed tables, in an abbreviated press release (compare with last month’s release to see what I’m saying). In order to figure out the revised August numbers (and actual level of September preliminary numbers) one had to go...

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“We’re Doing a Great Job” in Puerto Rico

I just saw the President re-state this point in a press conference with the Governor of Puerto Rico. He also just said (if I heard it right) that the Federal response deserves a “10” score. Here are some key graphs. These graphs are based on FEMA data, reported and updated here by WaPo (graphs accessed 11:50AM Central, 10/19). It is good to see the gradient is positive, after trending sideways for some days. Of course, these statistics mean that around 2.7 million American citizens are...

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The Association between China-based Job Displacement and Drug Overdose Deaths

A recent White House internal memo has suggested a causal relationship between the decline in manufacturing jobs and a host of social ills, including the opioid epidemic. Here is a graphical/geographic comparison of two variables that are related to these factors. Here is the geographic variation in job loss due to trade competition from China: Source: EPI via Oak (2012). Here is the geographic variation in drug deaths in 2015: source: Jacobs (2017). The correlation is less than perfect,...

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Recession Watch, October 2017

Where do we stand? Here’s the official GDP series and two monthly series. Figure 1: Real GDP in bn. Ch2009$ SAAR, from third release (blue bar), Macroeconomic Advisers (green), e-forecasting (red), GDPNow (dark blue bold line). Source: BEA, Macroeconomic Advisers (28 September), e-forecasting (18 October), Atlanta Fed GDPNow (13 October). Note that the decline in monthly GDP as calculated by e-forecasting starts in August, before Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Of course, these monthly series...

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Guest Contribution: “10 Lessons for China 10 years after the subprime financial crisis “

Today we are fortunate to present a guest contribution written by Alessandro Rebucci, Associate Professor, and Jiatao Liu, at the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University. This month marked the beginning of the 10th year since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which triggered the most acute phase of the U.S. subprime financial crisis. The United States is still coping with the consequences of the ensuing great recession, and its policymakers have spent the past decades reining-in...

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A Curiously Non-Quantitative Assessment of Deregulation Effects on Economic Growth

And a funny choice of citations. The CEA released its first “report” under the leadership of Kevin Hassett. The report, entitled The Growth Potential of Deregulation, is summarized thusly: Excessive regulation is a tax on the economy, costing the U.S. an average of 0.8 percent of GDP growth per year since 1980. This taxation by regulation has increased sharply in recent years, with approximately 500 new economically significant regulations created over the last eight years alone. Through a...

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Two Pictures from the September Employment Situation

Consensus (Bloomberg) had been for +100,000 (range 0 to 140,000); print was -33,000. Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment, thousands, seasonally adjusted, from September release (blue), August (red), July (green), all on log scale. Source: BLS via FRED. Obviously, the hurricanes distorted the numbers, but consensus estimates should have taken the impact into account. Note that the last two months’ of data have been revised down. There is a slight deceleration in employment growth as a...

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EconoFact: “Are Global Imbalances a Source of Concern?”

That’s the title of a new EconoFact piece. Here is the key depiction of some key current account balances, past and (possibly) future. From the article: The distribution of current account balances is important in the current political context. Persistent current account surpluses from countries such as Germany, China, and Korea in the face of a persistent and increasing current account deficit in the United States contribute to increasing political tensions over trade policies. To the...

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