Francis Diebold, 22 January 2021

Measuring real economic activity in real time is crucial for the design and implementation of macroeconomic policies. This column documents the path of the Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti index, which provides a real-time assessment of US business conditions before official data like GDP are officially released, during the pandemic recession entry and relates it to the progress of COVID-19. The index proves a good indicator of the path of real time activity and a strong negative correlation to the rate of new COVID cases.

Robert Hall, Marianna Kudlyak, 24 June 2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to job loss of catastrophic proportions in the United States. This column looks at recoveries from recessions over past 70 years to assess how the US labour market might recover from this job loss of unprecedented magnitude. Remarkably consistent recoveries have occurred in the US after every recessionary shock that caused a spike in unemployment, and there are reasons to believe that the recovery from the current shock will be more rapid, because unemployment contains a much larger fraction of workers on temporary layoff than in previous recoveries. However, there is a great deal of uncertainty about the possible recovery rate.

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