Business Cycles

How do Economic Crises End?

By ·March 23, 2020
Wellesley College

The Issue:

We are now in the acute economic phase of a crisis that is unprecedented in modern times — a health crisis from the coronavirus pandemic that has sparked a follow-on economic crisis. The virus represents both a supply shock (as people are forced not to work and supply chains are disrupted by the need

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Coronavirus and the Health of the U.S. Economy

By and ·March 12, 2020
The Fletcher School, Tufts University and EconoFact

The Issue:

The coronavirus has, in a matter of weeks, had a profound impact on the world economy. The economic impacts stem both from the direct effect of those who fall ill and from the measures taken to contain or slow the progression of the pandemic. These effects, operating through both domestic and global

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Why Is Inflation so Low?

By ·October 8, 2019
Wellesley College

The Issue:

Inflation has averaged just over 1-1/2 percent over the past decade, well below the Federal Reserve’s target of 2 percent. Such low inflation for such an extended stretch is quite unusual given historical economic relationships. With the current unemployment rate near historic lows, the persistent soft

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How Low Can We Go? Prospects for Negative Interest Rates

By ·September 17, 2019
Williams College

The Issue:

There is increasing speculation regarding whether the Federal Reserve might set a negative target for the federal funds rate should the economy enter a recession. If it did, the Fed would not be the first central bank to do so. Although negative policy rates have been rare until recently, the European

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What Can the Employment Report Tell Us?

By and ·September 2, 2019
Harvard University and EconoFact

The Issue:

Slowing growth abroad, particularly in Germany and China, as well as ongoing trade disputes have spurred much recent discussion about the extent to which these factors might hurt the American economy. But how can we gauge how these factors and other developments are reverberating across the U.S. economy?

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What Information Does the Yield Curve Yield? (UPDATED)

By ·December 6, 2018
Fletcher School, Tufts University

The Issue:

Forecasting the twists and turns of the economy is difficult. One set of indicators used to gauge where the economy is headed draws on information from financial markets since the yields paid by financial assets reflect the collective market view of the future state of the economy. An inverted yield ...
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