2015

Feb 27, 2015

Through the Eyes of a Big Fan

When former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke discusses the economy, his words still carry weight. SouthPoint summarizes remarks he made at a recent conference and places them in context with recent data about consumer behavior.

Feb 26, 2015

Are Shifts in Industry Composition Holding Back Wage Growth?

Stubbornly slow wage growth, even in a gradually strengthening employment sector, has attracted considerable attention from economists. A new macroblog post examines whether a shift in employment growth among industry sectors plays a role.

Feb 26, 2015

Economic & Financial Highlights

View the latest series of charts from our Economic & Financial Highlights page, including new data on industrial production, unemployment claims, and more.

Feb 26, 2015

Latest Forecast for GDPNow

On February 26, the GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2015 was 1.7 percent. View GDPNow for more details.

Feb 26, 2015

January's Sticky-Price CPI Rises

The Atlanta Fed's sticky-price consumer price index (CPI)—a weighted basket of items that change price relatively slowly—rose 2.2 percent (annualized) in January, following a 1.6 percent increase in December. See the data.

Feb 25, 2015

Has the Pendulum Swung Back to Neutral? Looking at Credit Availability

The housing recovery remains slow. Real Estate Research looks at whether the availability of credit is a factor.

Feb 25, 2015

Banking Outlook Conference Canceled

Due to anticipated inclement weather, the 2015 Banking Outlook Conference scheduled for February 26 has been canceled.

Feb 23, 2015

Payments Stakeholders: Can't We All Just Work Together?

It's just physics: when payments stakeholders work toward the same goal, they make faster progress than when they work alone. Take On Payments wonders if card issuers and merchants are pushing in the same direction when it comes to EMV chip card migration.

Feb 23, 2015

Liquidity Regulation and Financial Stability

U.S. bank supervisors are adopting regulations intended to limit banks' provision of liquidity and maturity transformation services. A new Notes from the Vault post raises questions about these regulations' overall contribution to financial stability.

Feb 23, 2015

Are Oil Prices "Passing Through"?

The recent dramatic decline in oil prices has exerted considerable change on many firms' cost structures. How have they responded to a reshaped playing field? A new macroblog post looks at recent survey data to find out.

Feb 20, 2015

Business as Usual?

Increasingly, firms are reporting that their sales are approaching what they consider normal levels. This return to normalcy is especially true for larger firms, but smaller firms indicate that they are farther from normal sales levels than their bigger brethren. A new macroblog post examines new data to depict the gap.

Feb 20, 2015

Business Inflation Expectations Stable in February

Firms anticipate 1.7 percent inflation over the coming 12 months, holding steady from last month's reading, according to the Atlanta Fed's business inflation expectations survey.

Feb 19, 2015

Economic & Financial Highlights

View the latest series of charts from our Economic & Financial Highlights page, including new data on housing starts, retail sales, and more.

Feb 18, 2015

Minutes of the FOMC Meeting Released from January 27-28, 2015

The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday released the attached minutes of the Committee meeting held on January 27–28, 2015.

Feb 17, 2015

Introducing Take On Payments

After much thought and discussion, we've shed our blog title Portals and Rails—but we've kept our mission to keep the conversation about payments risk going. This post discusses what went into our decision.

Feb 17, 2015

What's (Not) Up with Wage Growth?

Recently, labor markets are exhibiting renewed signs of strength, but wage growth has generally been lower than expected. A new macroblog post looks at wage growth across several dimensions in an attempt to find out what's up—or not up—with wages.

Feb 13, 2015

Southeastern Manufacturing Sees No Shadow

When Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Groundhog Day earlier this month, did his forecast of more winter weather cast a pall over regional manufacturing, which slowed earlier this winter? SouthPoint examines data indicating that southeastern manufacturing remains strong, shadow or no.

Feb 12, 2015

Southeastern Labor Market Continues Strengthening

States throughout the region continue to show evidence of gradually strengthening labor markets, a welcome development following a rugged stretch coming out of the recession and its turbulent aftermath. SouthPoint looks at recent data to place the growth in context.

Feb 12, 2015

Visualizing Labor Market Growth with Many Indicators

The U.S. labor market is a complex mosaic that affords observers myriad perspectives for analysis and observation. But different indicators can produce different conclusions, so deciding which one to use is an important consideration. Human Capital Currents discusses various ways to observe labor markets.

Feb 12, 2015

Are We Becoming a Part-Time Economy?

The share of the U.S. workforce employed part-time is greater now than before the recession. Is this increase a cyclical phenomenon or simply the new normal? A new macroblog post sheds light on the question by examining part-time employment across different types of jobs.

Feb 12, 2015

Construction and Real Estate Survey: Home Sales Mixed

Builders and brokers presented differing views on residential sales in January. Builders reported sales as flat to slightly up from the year-ago level while brokers saw them as flat to slightly down.

Feb 12, 2015

Economic & Financial Highlights

View the latest series of charts from our Economic & Financial Highlights page, including new data on consumer credit, commodity prices, payroll employment, unemployment claims, and more.

Feb 11, 2015

GDP-Based Recession Indicator Index

Real gross domestic project (GDP) growth in the last three quarters of 2014 put the GDP-based recession indicator at 1.6 percent, a level consistent with view that the U.S. economy is unambiguously expanding.

Feb 11, 2015

The Nashville Music Economy

Do your students love music? Engage them in the economics of the music industry with this Extra Credit article showcasing the growth of and changes within the Nashville music industry.

Feb 10, 2015

Labor Market Spider Chart Updated with JOLTS Data

Monitor labor market progress with our Labor Market Spider Chart, now with December data on job openings, hires, layoffs, and quits (JOLTS).

Feb 10, 2015

December Data Digests Released

View our interactive Data Digests charts, which are updated with recent data and show current economic activity and trends in employment and real estate in the Southeast.

Feb 09, 2015

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Feb 09, 2015

A New Year, a Better Economy?

Overall business conditions in central and south Florida are encouraging, and the outlook is promising. To get a fuller picture of the situation, SouthPoint recently spoke to contacts from a range of industries and presents a summary of the conversations.

Feb 06, 2015

Considerations on the Path to Policy Normalization

Atlanta Fed President and CEO Dennis Lockhart shares his thoughts on the monetary policy "liftoff" decision ahead in a speech to the Southwest Florida Business Leaders on February 6, 2015.

Feb 06, 2015

Florida's Economic Rebound Continues

The road to economic recovery is a long one in Florida, where the recession ravaged housing prices, employment, banking, and more. But signs of progress abound in the Sunshine State, and SouthPoint discusses some of the indicators that point to further parting of the clouds.

Feb 06, 2015

Labor Market Tracking Tools Updated With January Data

What do January employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics mean for the outlook for labor markets? Check out the Labor Market Spider Chart and the Jobs Calculator to find out.

Feb 05, 2015

Data for Wu-Xia Shadow Federal Funds Rate Updated

The Wu-Xia shadow federal funds rate is updated through January with underlying input data from Gurkaynak, Sack, and Wright yield curve estimates. The rate stood at ‑2.27 percent on January 30.

Feb 05, 2015

Economic & Financial Highlights

View the latest series of charts from our Economic & Financial Highlights page, including new data on consumer confidence, economic growth, economic policy uncertainty, Federal Reserve assets and liabilities, and more.

Feb 04, 2015

Staying on Course

The regional economy saw strong job gains across sectors in December, with professional and business services adding nearly 10,000 jobs. Southeastern manufacturing contracted in December after 11 consecutive months of expansion. Read Southeastern Insights to learn about other recent trends.

Feb 04, 2015

The Broad Strokes of Art's Economic Impact

Do you have students in your economics class who love the arts? This Extra Credit infographic highlights the vital role the arts play in our economy.

Feb 03, 2015

Charting Employer Sentiment in the Southeast

What a difference a year makes! Or does it? Employer sentiment has fluctuated in the years following the recession, so SouthPoint asked regional businesspeople about their outlook for hiring and compares their answers with those supplied a year ago.

Feb 02, 2015

Does More Security Mean More Friction in Payments?

The payments industry continues to implement security measures to keep consumers and transactions safe. But sometimes these measures add complexity to the payments transaction. Portals and Rails asks, does consumers' preference for friction-free transactions mean they will reject the tool and the security?

Jan 30, 2015

The Impact of Regulation on Monetary Policy

Banking regulation can have unintended consequences for the conduct of monetary policy. A new Notes from the Vault discusses two regulatory actions that may impair the cost-effectiveness of the FOMC's preferred tool for normalizing monetary policy.

Jan 29, 2015

Resilience in Planning: A Review of Comprehensive Plans in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina

Gulf Coast communities that were hard hit by Hurricane Katrina have implemented various plans to rebuild their infrastructure. In a new paper, an Atlanta Fed analyst looks at four Mississippi communities’ comprehensive plans and analyzes and compares them.

Jan 29, 2015

Economic & Financial Highlights

View the latest series of charts from our Economic & Financial Highlights page, including new data on capital goods, Federal Reserve assets and liabilities, home sales, unemployment claims, and more.

Jan 28, 2015

Federal Reserve Issues FOMC Statement

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December suggests that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace. Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate.

Jan 27, 2015

Jobs Calculator Updated with State Data

How many jobs does it take in your state? Check out our state-level Jobs Calculator to learn how December data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics affect the outlook for unemployment in each state.

Jan 26, 2015

Another Year of Modest Growth for the Southeast

The Southeast spent much of 2014 in an ongoing struggle to attain prerecession levels in employment, home prices, and construction. In some ways, the region made considerable progress, but consistent growth remains elusive. EconSouth asks if 2015 shaping up to be the year the region regains ongoing traction.

Jan 26, 2015

Baskets, Base Years, and Bias: Constructing and Using a Student Price Index

Your students are consumers, too! Use this new Extra Credit lesson to help your students construct and use a price index reflecting the purchasing patterns of teens at their own school.

Jan 26, 2015

Tackling Fraud with Data

As the amount of online spending grows, are merchants doing more to mitigate fraud? Portals and Rails looks at a survey and a study to suss out the answer.

Jan 22, 2015

Economic & Financial Highlights

View the latest series of charts from our Economic & Financial Highlights page, including new data on housing starts, inflation, retail sales, unemployment claims, and more.

Jan 21, 2015

Teenage Unemployment: What's the Local Story?

Challenge your students to collect and analyze economic data on teen unemployment for their own school. This high school economics lesson from Extra Credit will help your students find their "inner economist."

Jan 20, 2015

Construction and Real Estate Survey: Home Prices Up

Both residential brokers and builders note that prices increased in December on a year-over-year basis. The two groups report more mixed results on sales and inventory levels for the month.

Jan 20, 2015

Phone Scams: Still Calling Around

Amidst all the news about sophisticated, high-tech crimes, Portals and Rails reminds us that criminals can still use that old-fashioned device, the telephone, to scam the consumer.

Jan 16, 2015

Sticky-Price CPI Remains around 2 Percent

The Atlanta Fed's sticky-price consumer price index (CPI)—a weighted basket of items that change price relatively slowly—rose 1.2 percent (annualized) in December, following a 2.3 percent increase in November.

Jan 15, 2015

O Manufacturing, Is Winter Thy Enemy?

Southeastern manufacturing was rolling along nicely for most of 2014, and then winter came along to disrupt the positive trend. Is there something about winter that doesn’t agree with manufacturing? SouthPoint looks at recent data to examine the question.

Jan 15, 2015

Economic & Financial Highlights

View the latest series of charts from our Economic & Financial Highlights page, including new data on consumer credit, labor force participation rates, nonfarm payroll employment, unemployment claims, and more.

Jan 15, 2015

Contrasting the Financing Needs of Different Types of Firms: Evidence From a New Small Business Survey

It's not news that the financing needs of startup firms differ from those of their more mature counterparts. But how exactly does their credit search differ? A new macroblog post examines the question from a variety of perspectives using data from a new small business survey.

Jan 14, 2015

Beige Book: Southeast Economy Continued to Improve

Economic activity has continued to improve across the Southeast since December 2014, according to the latest Beige Book. The majority of the Atlanta Fed's business contacts reported a positive outlook for 2015, with many of them expecting higher growth early in the year.

Jan 14, 2015

Making Finance Personal: Project-Based Learning for the Personal Finance Classroom

Turn your students into personal finance gurus. This Extra Credit curriculum unit provides your students with a comprehensive approach to successful financial management.

Jan 14, 2015

The Effectiveness of Restrictions of Mortgage Equity Withdrawal in Curtailing Default: The Case of Texas

Can policy reduce the likelihood of another housing crisis? A new research paper, providing some evidence from Texas, tries to answer that question, and Real Estate Research discusses the paper.

Jan 14, 2015

January Business Inflation Expectations Dip

Firms anticipate 1.7 percent inflation over the coming year, a decline of two-tenths of a percentage point from December's survey, according to the Atlanta Fed's business inflation expectations survey.

Jan 13, 2015

Labor Market Spider Chart Updated with JOLTS Data

Monitor labor market progress with our Labor Market Spider Chart, now with November data on job openings, hires, layoffs, and quits (JOLTS).

Jan 12, 2015

Surveying the Southeastern Economy in 2014

How did the regional economy perform in 2014, what might lie ahead for the economy in 2015? Mike Chriszt and Shalini Patel of the Atlanta Fed answer these questions and more in an EconSouth Now podcast.

Jan 12, 2015

A Potentially Momentous Year for Policy

Atlanta Fed President and CEO Dennis Lockhart, in a January 12 speech at the Rotary Club of Atlanta, reviews the growing strength of the economy, the economic outlook for the year ahead, and the monetary policy outlook.

Jan 12, 2015

Forming a More Perfect Union (for Faster Payments)

Alphabet soup couldn't contain enough letters to list the acronyms for all the agencies, public and private, that have a stake in U.S. payments services. So how will the industry overcome this fragmentation to accomplish near-real-time payments? Portals and Rails looks at some possibilities.

Jan 09, 2015

Labor Market Tracking Tools Updated With December Data

What do December employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics mean for the outlook for labor markets? Check out the Labor Market Spider Chart and the Jobs Calculator to find out.

Jan 09, 2015

Gauging Inflation Expectations with Surveys, Part 3: Do Firms Know What They Don't Know?

It should come as no surprise that firms with great inflation certainty tend to be more accurate in their inflation predictions than firms with less certainty. But how aware are firms of their level of certainty? A new macroblog post examines data to find out.

Jan 08, 2015

The Fed Explains Bank Supervision and Regulation

Healthy banks and healthy economies go hand in hand. The latest in the Atlanta Fed's animated video series explains how the Federal Reserve ensures banks are doing business safely and providing fair and equitable services to their communities.

Jan 08, 2015

November Data Digests Released

View our interactive Data Digests charts, which show current economic activity and trends in employment and real estate in the Southeast.

Jan 08, 2015

Economic & Financial Highlights

View the latest series of charts from our Economic & Financial Highlights page, including new data on commodity prices, consumer confidence, inflation, personal income, unemployment, and more.

Jan 07, 2015

Gauging Inflation Expectations with Surveys, Part 2: The Question You Ask Matters—A Lot

Arriving at a clear picture of inflation expectations requires more than a succinct question: it also requires an understanding of who is answering the question. A new macroblog post examines how the question being asked influences the answer given.

Jan 07, 2015

Minutes of the FOMC Meeting Released from December 16-17, 2014

The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday released the attached minutes of the Committee meeting held on December 16-17, 2014.

Jan 06, 2015

Bringing Foreign Investment into Economically Distressed Markets: The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (Part II)

The EB-5 program offers one way to bring construction funds into a distressed community. In this second post of a two-post series, Real Estate Research looks at some issues community and economic developers should keep in mind concerning this program.

Jan 05, 2015

Gauging Inflation Expectations with Surveys, Part 1: The Perspective of Firms

No single inflation gauge closes the case on the forecast for price increases, so economists rely on a range of measures to assess inflation expectations. A new macroblog post looks at some of the surveys and the spectrum of data they provide in an attempt to shed new light on the results.

Jan 05, 2015

Can Insecurity Keep Us from Faster Payments?

Is security mostly a superstition, as Helen Keller said? Portals and Rails offers its perspective on whether the payments industry can and should ensure data security while moving toward faster payments.

Jan 01, 2015

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