Our economy is currently in the middle of its longest economic expansion ever. Sometimes it’s tough to imagine the Great Recession ended over a decade ago or that the first recession of this century started over 18 years ago. During both downturns, output was in steep decline and firms were hemorrhaging jobs by the hundreds of thousands each week (e.g., in March 2009, the net
April 2019 Chicago Fed National Activity Index
Prices paid by producers and wholesalers rose marginally in February 2019 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their Producer Price Index rose 0.1 percent after declining a similar amount in both December and January. Year-over-year, this price proxy is up 1.9 percent, declining modestly from 2.0 percent in January.
Monetary policies executed by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) are designed to fulfill our central bank’s dual mandate: full-employment and price stability. What the heck do those terms mean?