About the Phillips Curve

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[By staff reporters]

An important concept in macroeconomics

When Federal Reserve officials meet to finally decide whether to raise interest rates for the first time in nine years, one question will be front and center according to Neil Irwin?

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[Rate of Change of Wages against Unemployment

United Kingdom 1913–1948 from Phillips (1958)]

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Question: How much faith should be placed in a line on a graph first drawn by a New Zealand economist nearly six decades ago, based on data on wages and employment in Britain dating to the 1860s?

The 57-Year-Old Chart That Is Dividing the Fed

More:

Assessment

So, if you believe in the traditional Phillips curve, as some at the Fed do, inflation should be taking off any day now?

Conclusion

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One Response

  1. Keep your eyes on the data

    There was much to be said for U.S. stock markets’ performance during October. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index delivered their best monthly performance in four years, according to Barron’s.

    Any celebration of strong market performance was cut short when the Commerce Department’s estimate of third quarter U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth was released last week. GDP was in positive territory, up 1.5 percent for the period, but growth fell short of second quarter’s 3.9 percent, according to the BBC.

    The primary reason for the decline was falling inventories. During third quarter both individuals and companies were worried about a possible slowdown in global growth. The Economist reported one reason companies may have reduced inventories is because they feared demand for goods would not be strong if the world economy weakens. That didn’t prove out as sales of American goods and services grew by 3 percent during the third quarter. When inventories are excluded, U.S. GDP growth was 2.9 percent, which many experts would say is pretty healthy growth.

    Consumer spending comprises a much bigger part of U.S. GDP (68 percent) than does private investment by businesses and financial institutions (17 percent). Consumer spending numbers also were released last Friday and showed a 0.1 percent increase, which was smaller than many had expected. Experts cited by BloombergBusiness suggest that number could move higher if wages improve. The Economist concurred:

    “…if the American consumer defies firms’ gloomy forecasts and continues to spend, investment will eventually return. There is good reason to believe that will happen. In cash terms, disposable personal income grew at an annualized pace of 4.8 percent, helped by cheap fuel. Consumers are more confident about their personal finances than at any time since 2007, according to the University of Michigan’s latest survey.”

    Arthur Chalekian GEPC
    [Elite Financial Partners]

    Like

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