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  • 2016 Small Business Credit Survey

    The fourth in a series of reports based on the 2016 Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS), this report details findings on the financing experiences and outcomes of the smallest firms in the US. Microbusinesses—a category of small firms comprising both nonemployer firms and firms with fewer than 5 employees—account for 9 in 10 firms in the US. The SBCS finds that microbusinesses face greater challenges than larger small firms and are less able to access financing. Read More

  • Have Inflation Dynamics Changed?

    Edward S. Knotek II Saeed Zaman

    Using a flexible statistical model to project inflation outcomes into the future, this Commentary finds that the most likely path for inflation based on recent inflation dynamics is generally similar to what would have been expected given inflation dynamics in the late 1990s, but there is more uncertainty around the forecast now than in the late 1990s. Read More

  • Financial Stability and Fintech Conference on Nov 30-Dec 1 in DC, sponsored by Cleveland Fed, OFR, and University of Maryland

    Randal K. Quarles, member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and vice chair for supervision, to deliver luncheon keynote on Nov 30 Read More

  • Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland announces officer appointment

    Jackie Dalton was appointed assistant vice president. Dalton is responsible for overseeing the consumer compliance and corporate compliance risk teams in the Bank's Supervision and Regulation Department. Read More

  • Columbus—A Still Low, but Rising, Unemployment Rate

    Guhan Venkatu Christopher Vecchio Sarah Mattson

    The Columbus metro area’s unemployment rate has risen more than half a percentage point (to 4.3 percent) since April. Nevertheless, the metro area’s employment expanded by 2.0 percent, outpacing both the state and the nation. All major industries shared in this employment growth, with many sectors experiencing stronger gains in the metro area than in the nation. Home price gains remained robust, exceeding 5 percent on a year-over-year basis as of August, and the average number of permits issued per month for new housing units in the metro area has been substantially higher this year than in prior years. Per capita consumer debt levels remain stable, and credit card delinquency rates remain below both state and national averages. Finally, the Columbus metro area’s real per capita GDP grew 2.1 percent in 2016, a deceleration from the growth rate registered by the metro area in 2015. Read More

  • Toledo—Pace of Growth Has Slowed

    Joel Elvery Christopher Vecchio

    The economy of the Toledo metro area has continued to grow, but the pace of growth appears to have slowed relative to the strong growth seen in 2014 and 2015. For example, per capita gross domestic product rose only half a percent in 2016, compared to an average of 2.7 percent in 2014 and 2015. Employment growth also slowed, with employment growing 0.5 percent between March 2016 and March 2017, compared to growth of 1.6 percent between March 2014 and March 2015. Perhaps most troubling is that the metro area’s credit card delinquency rate and unemployment rate are rising. On the plus side, housing prices experienced their strongest growth in more than a decade. Read More

  • Do Foreign-Born Workers Cause Native-Born Workers to Move or Leave the Labor Force?

    Roberto Pinheiro Allan Dizioli

    This Commentary discusses how the presence of foreign-born workers in a local labor market affects the decisions of native-born workers to leave the labor force or move to another state. We analyze short panels obtained through the Current Population Survey and find that, in the short run, less-educated native-born workers react to a larger stock of foreign-born workers by either moving to a different state or dropping out of the labor force. In terms of magnitude, the effect is small but not insignificant. Read More

  • Productivity Growth and Real Interest Rates in the Long Run

    Kurt G. Lunsford

    Despite the unemployment rate's return to low levels, inflation-adjusted or "real" interest rates have remained negative. One popular explanation for persistently negative real interest rates is that long-run productivity growth has slowed. I study the long-run relationship between real interest rates and productivity growth from 1914 to 2016 and find a negative correlation between these two variables. Hence, low productivity growth has been historically associated with high real interest rates. Since World War II, the correlation between these variables has been near zero. This suggests that slow long-run productivity growth is not driving real interest rates to be persistently negative. Read More

  • The 1970s Origins of Too Big to Fail

    George Nurisso Edward S. Prescott

    In 1972, bank regulators bailed out the $1.2 billion Bank of the Commonwealth partly because they viewed it as “too big to fail.” We describe this bailout and subsequent ones through that of Continental Illinois in 1984 and use the descriptions to draw lessons about too-big-to-fail policy. We argue that some of the same issues that motivated bailouts during this earlier period, particularly worries about banking concentration, are relevant today. Read More

  • When States Default: Lessons from Law and History

    O. Emre Ergungor

    This Commentary discusses how a severe fiscal crisis at the state level could impact the interests of the state’s public pension holders. Drawing lessons from the relevant laws, historical precedents, and the case of Arkansas after its default in 1933, I argue that in spite of the protections that exist, no public retirement system is completely immune to impairment if the money runs out. Read More

  • Opportunity Occupations: Exploring Employers’ Educational Preferences for Registered Nurses Using Online Job Posting Data

    Kyle Fee

    This A Look behind the Numbers takes a deep dive into the registered nurse (RN) labor market, using online job posting data to gain a better understanding of how much education employers prefer when hiring. Read More

  • The Opioid Epidemic and the Labor Market

    Dionissi Aliprantis Anne Chen

    Drug overdoses now account for more deaths in the United States than traffic deaths or suicides, and most of the increase in overdose deaths since 2010 can be attributed to opioids--a class of drugs that includes both prescription pain relievers and illegal narcotics. We look at trends in drug use and overdose deaths to document how the opioid epidemic has evolved over time and to determine whether it could be large enough to impact the labor force. Read More

  • Lexington—Continued Economic Growth

    Gary Wagner Christopher Vecchio

    The Lexington metropolitan area continues to exhibit signs of economic growth across various performance metrics. Most notably, recent figures for unemployment, real GDP per capita, income per capita, consumer debt, and credit card delinquency rates are near prerecession levels. Read More

  • Pittsburgh—Employment Continues to Trend Sideways

    Guhan Venkatu Christopher Vecchio

    Employment has remained relatively flat in the Pittsburgh metro area throughout the five-year period from 2012 through 2016. In 2016, the metro area’s employment fell slightly, with every major industry category experiencing less employment growth in Pittsburgh than in the nation as a whole. Read More

  • In Case You Missed It: Policy Summit 2017

    Sydney Stone

    More than 300 people gathered at the biennial Policy Summit to exchange insights on enduring economic and social issues. Check out some of the event’s highlights. Read More

  • Cleveland—Slow Growth Continues

    Joel Elvery Christopher Vecchio

    Overall, economic conditions were stable in the Cleveland metro area during the first half of 2017. While employment growth has been weak, the unemployment rate has declined in recent months. The housing market remains strong, with both home price growth and the number of building permits issued at or near their highest levels since the recovery began in June 2009. Read More

  • Warehousing: A Historical Lesson in Central Bank Independence

    Owen F. Humpage

    This Economic Commentary explains how warehousing—a seemingly innocuous institutional arrangement between the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury—came to threaten the Fed’s independence. Warehousing began as an arcane procedure designed to help the Treasury cover a specific type of foreign-exchange exposure. It then grew into a supplemental source of funding for the Treasury's foreign-exchange interventions. Eventually the procedure morphed into a sizeable off-budget source of funding for other Treasury activities and seemed an inappropriate subversion of the congressional appropriations process, a development that raised concerns within the Fed about its ability to conduct monetary policy free from political concerns. Read More

  • Stabilizing Local Housing Markets in Cuyahoga County: Blight Elimination

    Kyle Fee Tasia Hane-Devore

    Ten years removed from the housing crisis, local housing markets are still feeling the negative effects of the collapse. The share of foreclosed homes has declined from peak levels, but blight remains an obstacle to stabilizing local housing markets. Strategic interventions to eliminate blight balance demolition and rehabilitation of homes in order to promote housing market stability. Read More

  • Evolution, Not Revolution: Payments Are Undergoing Changes in the United States

    Daniel A. Littman Tasia Hane-Devore

    Payments products are evolving, and a "faster payments" system may accelerate changes. Read More