Paul Krugman: Hawks Crying Wolf |

According to a recent report in The Times, there is dissent at the Fed: “An increasingly vocal minority of Federal Reserve officials want the central bank to retreat more quickly” from its easy-money policies, which they warn run the risk of causing inflation…

…The Times article singles out for special mention Charles Plosser of the Philadelphia Fed, who is, indeed, warning about inflation risks. But you should know that he warned about the danger of rising inflation in 2008. He warned about it in 2009. He did the same in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. He was wrong each time, but, undaunted, he’s now doing it again…

Read more at Hawks Crying Wolf –

Philadelphia Fed: September up-turn in state coincident indicators

September readings for the Philadelphia Fed survey of state coincident indicators are now out. The 3-Month Index has turned to follow the Monthly Index upward. Reversal of the Monthly Index below 80, however, would be cause for concern.

Philadelphia Fed State Coincident Indicators Diffusion Indexes

When we look at the index over the last 30 years, down-turns of the Diffusion Index below 50 normally precede a recession. The only false signal (so far) was the recent 2011 dip of the Monthly Index (DI1) to 20 and the 3-Month Index (DI3) to 46.

Philadelphia Fed State Coincident Indicators Diffusion Indexes

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia calculates monthly coincident indexes for each of the 50 states. The coincident indexes combine four state-level indicators to summarize current economic conditions in a single statistic: nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index (U.S. city average). The trend for each state’s index is set to the trend of its gross domestic product (GDP), so long-term growth in the state’s index matches long-term growth in its GDP.

For further details of Diffusion Index performance in predicting recessions, read Marking NBER Recessions with State Data by Jason Novak (2008).