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Economic Outlook William Strauss Senior Economist and Economic Advisor Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Calumet Area Industrial Commission Chicago, IL April.

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Presentation on theme: "Economic Outlook William Strauss Senior Economist and Economic Advisor Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Calumet Area Industrial Commission Chicago, IL April."— Presentation transcript:

1 Economic Outlook William Strauss Senior Economist and Economic Advisor Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Calumet Area Industrial Commission Chicago, IL April 21, 2015

2 The outlook is for the U.S. economy to expand at a pace somewhat above trend in 2014 What I said last year Employment is expected to rise moderately with the unemployment rate edging lower Slackness in the economy will lead to a relatively contained inflation rate Growth in manufacturing output should be somewhat above trend in 2014

3 The “Great Recession” ended in June 2009 and GDP expanded by 2.4% last year

4 The Chicago Fed National Activity Index 3-month average has dipped below zero

5 The “Midwest” economy has performed well over the past year

6 The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) expects GDP to grow somewhat above trend over the next two years FOMC Central Tendency (March 2015) – – – 2.4 Longer run 2.0 – 2.3

7 The path of the current recovery is restrained compared with past deep recession recovery cycles average annualized growth: 4.9% average annualized growth: 4.3% average annualized growth: 2.3%

8 Employment grew by over 3.1 million jobs over the past 12 months

9 After peaking in October 2009, the unemployment rate has fallen by 4.5 percentage points

10 However, the labor force participation rate fell to a level last seen in 1977

11 Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate and Population Share 16 and Older by Age Category, United States, 2007 and 2014 Labor Force Participation Rate (%) Population Share (%) Change Change ‘07-’ ‘07-’14 Population 16 and older to to to to to plus

12 The share of those unemployed more than 6 months remains significantly high

13 Employees working part time for economic reasons remains elevated

14 Wages and benefit costs have increased over the past year, but still remains relatively low

15 Education matters

16 The FOMC forecasts that the unemployment rate will be at the natural rate at the end of 2015 FOMC Central Tendency (March 2015) – – – 5.1 Longer run 5.0 – 5.2

17 Every state in the District has employment growth that is slower than the national rate

18 Unemployment rates in the region are very close to the national average

19 Inflation is declining

20 In large part due to the collapse of energy prices

21 Natural gas prices have also declined and remains low

22 Expenditures on energy are well below the historical average

23 The savings rate has increased over the past several months

24 Low oil prices benefit most states (Effect of a 50% decline in oil prices on employment)

25 Removing the volatile food and energy components from the PCE, “core” inflation remains low

26 Inflation is forecast to rise 0.8 percent in 2015 and 2.2 percent in 2016

27 The FOMC anticipates that PCE inflation will remain below two percent through 2017 FOMC Central Tendency (March 2015) – – – 2.0 Longer run 2.0

28 The FOMC anticipates that “core” PCE inflation will also remain below two percent through 2017 FOMC Central Tendency (March 2015) – – – 2.0

29 Blue Chip International Consensus Forecasts

30 The real trade-weighted dollar has increased 10% over the past seven months

31 Since the beginning of the expansion manufacturing output has been increasing at a 4.5% annualized rate and has recovered 111% of the output during the recession

32 While manufacturing jobs have been rising, they have only recovered 38% of the jobs lost during the downturn

33 Capacity utilization is getting very close to full utilization

34 Average weekly hours for private workers has recently moved higher

35 recently at the highest working week since World War II However, average weekly hours for manufacturing are at extremely high levels:

36 Yet, average hourly earnings gains for manufacturing workers are very low

37 Manufacturing employment growth for Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin is rising faster than the nation

38 The recovery has also been broad-based with vehicle and primary metals manufacturing leading the way

39 The industrial sector has performed well over the past 5 years Manufacturing Industries Activity Chart Growth (3-month moving average) compared with the most recent 5-year trend

40 Light vehicles sales have reached pre-recession levels

41 The New 2015 F pounds lighter by using aluminum EcoBoost 2.7 liter V-6 Fuel economy increases by 5-20% Prices range from $26K-$60K+ Will this new design be accepted by the consumer? “High-strength, military grade, aluminum-alloy body”

42 The “Old” 2015 GMC Sierra “When redesigning the GMC Sierra, engineers relied on roll-formed steel, the same material found in the hulls of submarines. Big ones.”

43 Vehicle sales are forecast to rise around 3% this year and 1% next year

44 The purchasing managers’ index has moderated over the past few months

45 Industrial production is forecast to rise at a pace somewhat below trend in 2015 and around trend in 2016

46 Credit spreads between Corporate High Yield securities and Corporate Aaa securities have remained low, but has been inching higher over the past few months

47 Monetary policy has been very aggressive, keeping the Fed Funds near zero since December 2008

48 The Federal Funds Rate is anticipated to remain below the neutral rate through 2017 FOMC Midpoint Values (March 2015) Longer run 3.75

49 The asset side of the Fed’s balance sheet has expanded in size and in composition

50 The money supply (M2) is nearly 3 times bigger than the monetary base

51 The Fed’s expansion of the monetary base has allowed the money supply to continue rising, compared with what took place during the 1930s

52 The outlook is for the U.S. economy to expand at a pace slightly above trend through 2016 Summary Employment is expected to rise moderately with the unemployment rate slowly improving Slackness in the economy will lead to a relatively contained inflation rate Vehicle sales are anticipated to rise at a slowing pace Manufacturing output is expected to increase at a rate slightly below trend this year and at trend in 2016

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