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Research Notes–April 2004

Featuring research published in March 2004

Speeches

Sustainable Growth and Monetary Policy
March 24, 2004
Jack Guynn, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, talks about the economic outlook and the importance of low inflation at the Center for Banking at East Tennessee State University.

Macroeconomics

Decomposing Inflation
Economic Review Q1 2004
Andrew Bauer, Nicholas Haltom, and William Peterman
This analysis of the contributions to core inflation shows that recent declines in core inflation resulted mainly from significant relative price changes of two components and that concern about overall price deflation was perhaps overstated.

Consumer Debt: How Much Is Too Much?
EconSouth Q1 2004
Consumer spending drives the U.S. economy, and consumers shoulder record levels of personal debt. Determining when household debt becomes too heavy, however, is no simple matter. Whether consumers are struggling with their obligations or are managing their debt adequately depends on the criteria used to measure household debt.

Dollar Rebounds in February
In February the average monthly value for the trade-weighted dollar index of 15 major currencies tracked by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta rose 0.6 percent, its first monthly gain since August 2003.

Finance

The News in Financial Asset Returns
Economic Review Q1 2004
Gerald P. Dwyer Jr. and Cesare Robotti
Do movements in financial markets help predict developments in the economy? They do, according to this article, which presents a method of extracting the news about future economic activity from financial asset returns.

Volatility Forecasts, Trading Volume, and the ARCH versus Option-Implied Volatility Trade-off
Working Paper 2004-6
Forecasts of the volatility of stock market investments play a crucial role in finance. This paper improves forecasts by combining options-implied volatility, historical trends (GARCH), and information flows (share volume traded).

Regional Economics

Southeastern Exports: Engine for Growth
EconSouth Q1 2004
Agriculture, manufacturing, and automobiles lead the surge that Southeastern exports have recently experienced. The Southeast's exports overall are expanding faster than those of the rest of the nation, and the outlook for continued growth is promising.

Georgia Coast Braces for G-8 Whirlwind
EconSouth Q1 2004
With the G-8 Summit in June, representatives of the world’s leading economies—along with vast media coverage—will converge on an isolated barrier island off Georgia’s coast. Local leaders are hoping to capitalize on the publicity windfall while avoiding the strife that has marred some past summits.

International Economics

Leading Indicators of Country Risk and Currency Crises: The Asian Experience
Economic Review Q1 2004
Marcelle Chauvet and Fang Dong
This article uses a nonlinear dynamic model to construct an early warning system for international currency crises using financial variables that are highly sensitive to changes in the economic environment.