New COVID-19 Coverage by St. Louis Fed

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis provides an invaluable service in producing and hosting their FRED statistical database and FRASER economic history digital library. (My Macro Theory slides are a testament to the former.) They have recently compiled an ongoing list of preliminary analyses by their Research Division economists related to COVID-19 and the economic fallout from the pandemic:

They are also maintaining an ongoing interactive timeline of events related to the pandemic.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard recently made headlines when he issued a dire warning that the U.S. unemployment rate could soon skyrocket to 30% (for context, unemployment hit roughly 25% during the Great Depression and 10% during the Great Recession). But there is a huge amount of uncertainty surrounding such forecasts. Relatedly, economists at the St. Louis Fed have warned that, based on back-of-the-envelope calculations, the U.S. unemployment rate could rise to somewhere between 10.5% and 40.6% by June. Related reading, and one of the COVID-19 Research Resources links:

During crises, back-of-the-envelope calculations or novel forecasting techniques play a larger role in informing policymaking, because time is always a constraint and current statistical analysis is constrained by data availability lags.

Leave a Reply