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Economic Conditions

Texas Economic Activity Springs Ahead as Growth Strengthens

Anil Kumar and Judy Teng

Economic activity in Texas accelerated sharply in March, according to recent data that also indicate a continuation of the strong momentum.

May 06, 2021

A Tale of Boom and Bust: What Drives Dry Bulk Freight Rates?

David S. Jacks and Martin Stuermer

As events in the past year have amply demonstrated, volatility in shipping markets is very much back after a period of relative tranquility.

May 04, 2021

Global Perspectives: Richard Haass on Russia, China and Multilateralism

Mark A. Wynne

Richard Haass—a veteran diplomat, prominent voice on American foreign policy and established leader of nonprofit institutions—and Dallas Fed President Robert S. Kaplan discussed the end of the Cold War, Russia, China and contemporary challenges.

April 20, 2021

Southwest Economy, First Quarter 2021

COVID-19 Slammed into Texas, Leaving Long-Lasting Impacts

Emily Kerr, Judy Teng and Keith Phillips

The economic road from the COVID-19 recession in Texas will likely feature a steeper, more rapid climb than the usual gradual rise associated with most recoveries.

April 09, 2021

Southwest Economy, First Quarter 2021

Value-Added Tax Could Restrain Long-Term Federal Debt

Alan D. Viard, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and former senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, discusses how to address the U.S. budget deficit in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 09, 2021

Southwest Economy, First Quarter 2021

Go Figure: Collapsing Fuel Demand Tanks Texas Exports During Pandemic’s Peak

Design: Justin Chavira; Content: Emma Marshall, Pia Orrenius

The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on Texas energy exports. U.S. energy exports excluding Texas were dramatically less affected.

April 09, 2021

Southwest Economy, First Quarter 2021

Snapshot: Dining Out Picks Up in Texas, Houston

The number of patrons dining at restaurants surged in Texas and Houston after the state thawed from a deep freeze in February and COVID-19 constraints on restaurants and bars were lifted March 10.

April 09, 2021

Fed’s New Inflation Targeting Policy Seeks to Maintain Well-Anchored Expectations

Enrique Martínez-García, Jarod Coulter and Valerie Grossman

The Fed’s evolving understanding of the economy and its reassessment of the natural rate of interest have led to arguably the most significant policy change since 2012.

April 06, 2021

For Many, Work-from-Home Arrangements Likely to Outlast Pandemic

Alexander Bick, Adam Blandin and Karel Mertens

Many workers say they expect to work from home after the pandemic ends. Although commuting remained below prepandemic levels at year-end 2020, it is likely to increase in the near term as labor market conditions improve and home arrangements become more part time.

March 30, 2021

Texas Economic Conditions Improve as Price Pressures Build

Jesus Cañas and James Lee

Economic conditions in Texas have improved, with the Texas Business Outlook Surveys in February showing a pickup in growth after a deceleration in January.

March 25, 2021

Effects of COVID-19 on Tourism, Energy Weigh on Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana

Keighton Hines and Keith R. Phillips

Economic performance within the individual states of the Eleventh District reflected those states’ underlying relative dependence on the tourism and energy sectors and the effects of restrictions on mobility and engagement during COVID-19.

March 23, 2021

COVID-19 Risks Expose Vulnerabilities, Downside Risks to U.S. Outlook

Jarod Coulter and Enrique Martínez-García

The COVID-19 crisis has adversely affected the U.S. economy, helping account for a projected 3.4 percent contraction in 2020. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) anticipates a strong 4.6 percent rebound in 2021, making up for those losses.

March 02, 2021

Systemic Risks, Interdependencies Weigh on 2021 Global Outlook

Jarod Coulter and Enrique Martínez-García

The path of economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession remains far from clear. A fitful rollout of vaccines and governmental responses to new variants of the virus loom over a global growth rebound that private forecasters estimate at 5.5 percent for 2021.

February 16, 2021

Pandemic Pushed the U.S. into Recession … and Hourly Wages Rose?

Sean Howard, Robert Rich and Joseph Tracy

The onset of COVID-19 in spring 2020 prompted an unprecedented rapid rise in the unemployment rate. However, a popular and widely cited wage measure—average hourly earnings (AHE)—rose sharply as the health crisis grew.

February 09, 2021

Texas Economy Soft in January, but Outlook Optimistic for Later in 2021

Emily Kerr and Chloe Smith

Regional economic conditions appeared to deteriorate in January after picking up at year-end, data show. Nonetheless, there is optimism regarding the outlook for growth later this year.

February 04, 2021

COVID-19 Exposes Mortgage Market Vulnerabilities that Led to Volatility, Fed Intervention

W. Scott Frame, Brendan McCartney and Eva Steiner

The COVID-19-induced financial market shock in March 2020 significantly disrupted the market for agency mortgage-backed securities.

February 02, 2021

Pandemic Economic Lifeline: Taxes on Consumption, Labor that Fund Stay-at-Home Subsidies

Sewon Hur

Stay-at-home subsidies funded by taxes on consumption and labor—activities that contribute to viral transmission—can simultaneously reduce deaths and increase output.

January 12, 2021

COVID-19 Resurgence Across Texas Depresses Economic Growth

Keith R. Phillips and Judy Teng

Texas job growth has slowed after new daily COVID-19 cases in the state began surging in mid-October.

December 24, 2020

Southwest Economy, Fourth Quarter 2020

COVID-19 Fuels Sudden, Surging Demand for Suburban Housing

Laila Assanie and Yichen Su

Pandemic-related actions have helped propel a sudden, large shift from renting to homeownership and a concurrent movement to the suburbs and larger homes.

December 21, 2020

Global Perspectives: Mark Carney on Leading the Bank of England, Climate Change, COVID-19 and Community Involvement

Mark A. Wynne

Mark Carney, special envoy for climate action and finance at the United Nations, discussed climate change and central banks, COVID-19 and central banking, the complementary roles of monetary and fiscal policy, and community engagement with Dallas Fed President Robert S. Kaplan.

December 01, 2020

Global Perspectives: John B. Taylor on the Taylor Rule, Accommodative Policy, Low Interest Rates and Expanded Central Bank Mandates

Mark A. Wynne

Taylor and Dallas Fed President Robert S. Kaplan discussed the origins of the Taylor Rule, the dangers of holding monetary policy too accommodative for too long, the distributional effects of low interest rates and expanded central bank mandates.

November 24, 2020

Impact of COVID-19 on Small Service Firms Clouds Texas Jobs Estimates

Emma Marshall and Keith R. Phillips

The 2020 downturn has differed from past recessions in many ways, particularly affecting high-contact service industries that contain a large number of independent businesses with few employees.

November 17, 2020

Texas Rebound Likely Slowed by Renewed COVID-19 Impact on Services, Retail

Yichen Su and Carlee Crocker

Indicative of slowing job expansion, the Texas unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in September from 6.8 percent in August and exceeded the national rate (7.9 percent) for the first time since March.

November 12, 2020

Pandemic Disproportionately Affects Women, Minority Labor Force Participation

Tyler Atkinson and Alex Richter

Data showing changes in labor force participation rates for several demographics reveal that women with children, especially Black women, have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

November 10, 2020

Global Perspectives: Banco de México’s Alejandro Díaz de León on COVID-19, Trade and Inflation Targeting

Mark A. Wynne

Díaz de León and Dallas Fed President Robert S. Kaplan discussed COVID-19, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) and inflation targeting.

October 27, 2020

Global Perspectives: Richard W. Fisher on the COVID-19 Recovery, the Fed’s Response and the Future of Globalization

Mark A. Wynne

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas recently hosted Fisher, who served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 2005 to 2015, as part of the Bank’s Global Perspectives speaker series.

October 20, 2020

Auto Industry on Road to Recovery from Pandemic

Carlee Crocker and Wenhua Di

After a series of disruptions in March and April that coincided with the widespread outbreak in the U.S., the auto industry has entered a recovery period, though its path forward remains uncertain.

October 13, 2020

Record Global GDP Contraction Indicative of COVID-19’s Cross-Country Effect

Abigail Boatwright and Mark A. Wynne

A number of studies have shown that individual households and businesses voluntarily scaling back social interactions as they learned about the risks associated with COVID-19 have probably played a more important role in damping economic activity than government mandates.

October 06, 2020

Texas Economy Improves Despite Lagging Sectors as COVID-19 Cases Decline

Pia Orrenius and Chloe Smith

Continued growth is projected for the rest of the year, but it may be somewhat restrained by the expiration of federal stimulus programs and election uncertainty.

September 24, 2020

Southwest Economy, Third Quarter 2020

COVID-19’s Fiscal Ills: Busted Texas Budgets, Critical Local Choices

Jason Saving

COVID-19 and related economic shutdowns have raised concerns that state and local government revenues will fall short of expectations just as demand for services soars.

September 21, 2020

Commuting Patterns During COVID-19 Endure; Minorities Less Likely to Work from Home

Alexander Bick, Adam Blandin and Karel Mertens

Some workers transitioned to working from home relatively easily. In many jobs, however, performing regular work activities from home is impossible, forcing many individuals to become inactive or look for a new job.

September 01, 2020

Texas Weekly Employment Estimate Provides New, Early Economic Insights

Jesus Cañas, Keith R. Phillips and Carlee Crocker

In this environment where economic conditions change very quickly and can reverse with the spread of the virus, tracking the Texas economy requires a timelier indicator than standard quarterly and monthly economic measures.

August 18, 2020

Insights from Dallas Fed Surveys: Uneven Economic Recovery Likely in Texas

Emily Kerr and Christopher Slijk

The Dallas Fed’s Texas Business Outlook Surveys (TBOS) show that while recovery continued in some sectors in July, it faltered in others as new COVID-19 cases surged across the state.

August 11, 2020

Texas Economy’s Rebound Stalls in July after Gains in May, June

Christopher Slijk and Keighton Hines

The resurgence of COVID-19 in July appears to have reversed economic gains in Texas that emerged when the virus’ frequency abated in May and June.

August 06, 2020

U.S. Economic Rebound Uneven amid Resurgent Local COVID-19 Outbreaks

Tyler Atkinson, Jackson Crawford, Sam Dannels and Andrew Gross

A full recovery to pre-pandemic levels of economic activity appears unlikely until the virus is under control.

August 04, 2020

Entry, Exit of Firms Amplify the Business Cycle

Joshua Bernstein, Alexander W. Richter and Nathaniel A. Throckmorton

When new businesses are created, they generate new jobs. When unprofitable businesses close, employees lose their jobs. Given the connection between firm entry and exit and changes in employment, it is natural to ask how this entry and exit affects the broader business cycle.

July 14, 2020

The Production Process Drives Fluctuations in Output and Uncertainty

Tyler Atkinson, Michael Plante, Alexander W. Richter and Nathaniel A. Throckmorton

If economic developments drive most of the changes in uncertainty—rather than the reverse—then the direct effect of a change in uncertainty on economic activity is much smaller than previous research has shown.

June 30, 2020

Southwest Economy, Second Quarter 2020

Small Business Hardships Highlight Relationship with Lenders in COVID-19 Era

Wenhua Di, Nathaniel Pattison and Chloe Smith

The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted normal small business operations and will likely limit the ability of many enterprises to stay financially afloat.

June 23, 2020

COVID-19’s Unprecedented Impact Alters U.S. Labor Market

Joshua Bernstein, Alexander W. Richter and Nathaniel A. Throckmorton

A staggering 22.03 million initial claims for unemployment benefits were filed from mid-March to mid-April as the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing stay-at-home policies took hold across the country.

June 23, 2020

Texas Jobs Decline at Historic Pace from Impact of COVID-19

Anil Kumar and Judy Teng

The decrease affected all major metro areas, with the steepest drops coming in El Paso, Fort Worth and Austin, followed closely by Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.

June 18, 2020

Global Perspectives: Donald Kohn on Greenspan and Bernanke, the Global Financial Crisis and the COVID-19 Challenge

Mark A. Wynne

Kohn and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan discussed Kohn’s career at the Fed, his experience during the Global Financial Crisis and his thoughts on the Fed’s reaction to the current crisis.

June 02, 2020

Early Mandated Social Distancing Does Best to Control COVID–19 Spread

Alexander Chudik, Hashem Pesaran, Alessandro Rebucci

Voluntary social distancing and a lack of compliance with mandated polices have led to unnecessarily high infection rates and death tolls in a number of countries.

May 28, 2020

CARES Act Likely to Blunt Mortgage Delinquency Rate Increase

Xiaoqing Zhou

Household survey data and recent unemployment forecasts provide a basis for estimating the share of mortgage borrowers that—absent the CARES Act—would have missed a mortgage payment due to the economic shutdown.

May 26, 2020

Real-Time Population Survey Suggests U.S. Job Losses Slowed in Early May

Alexander Bick, Adam Blandin and Karel Mertens

Survey results for the week of May 10 suggest further declines in employment and an increase in unemployment relative to the week of April 26 – May 2, though both changes are within the survey’s margin of error.

May 22, 2020

Dallas Fed Mobility and Engagement Index Gives Insight into COVID-19’s Economic Impact

Tyler Atkinson, Jim Dolmas, Christoffer Koch, Evan Koenig, Karel Mertens, Anthony Murphy and Kei-Mu Yi

To gain insight into the economic impact of the pandemic, we developed an index of mobility and engagement, based on geolocation data collected from a large sample of mobile devices. (Revised June 3, 2020)

May 21, 2020

How Falling Oil Prices in Early 2020 Weakened the U.S. Economy

Lutz Kilian, Michael D. Plante and Xiaoqing Zhou

The benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price of oil dropped by more than half from Jan. 21 to April 3. This oil price decline has weakened rather than strengthened the U.S. economy, making this event different from past episodes of falling oil prices.

May 19, 2020

Real-Time Survey to Provide Timelier Labor Market Data in Era of COVID-19

Alexander Bick, Adam Blandin and Karel Mertens

An effective economic policy response to the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis requires timely and accurate information on its impact. To help reduce the information gap, we introduce the Real-Time Population Survey.

May 15, 2020

Falling Oil Prices Drag Down U.S. Business Investment

Garrett Golding, Martin Stuermer and Jesse Thompson

The dramatic decline in the price of oil has led to massive investment reductions by U.S. oil and gas producers.

May 14, 2020

Texas Economic Activity Sharply Falls in Wake of COVID-19

Laila Assanie and Chloe Smith

Virus containment measures have prompted unprecedented declines in demand and triggered mass layoffs, shaking business and consumer confidence.

May 07, 2020

Global Perspectives: Tom Hoenig on the Costs of COVID-19, Modern Monetary Theory and Fed Leadership

Mark A. Wynne

Hoenig and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan discussed Hoenig’s views on the costs of the current crisis, potential solutions and the elements of effective leadership at the Fed.

April 28, 2020

Monetary Policy in Time of Pandemic

Evan F. Koenig

Some monetary policy strategies have greater potential than others to mitigate pandemic-related financial strains.

April 16, 2020

Working from Home During a Pandemic: It’s Not for Everyone

Yichen Su

Because working remotely can offset the negative effects of shelter-in-place and social distancing policies on employment and earnings, knowing how many workers can do so is crucial to understanding the impact of such measures on our workforce.

April 07, 2020

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