Filed Under:Your Practice, Regulatory

Fed of 1970s shows capacity clues may mislead

Bank of England, London
Bank of England, London

The decision of central banks to focus more on economic slack as a barometer of when inflation will become a problem could backfire, if history is any guide.

The Federal Reserve, Bank of England and European Central Bank have started using the level of spare capacity in their economies as a way to foretell when they will start reversing easy monetary policies.

The global financial crisis may not have killed off the Great Moderation.

From 1984 to 2007, volatility in consumption, investment and economic growth fell across the developed world, leading to suggestions that boom-bust cycles were a thing of the past, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economists Charlie Himmelberg and Julian Richers said in a March 26 report.

An index constructed by Fathom Consulting, a London-based economics company run by former Bank of England economists, shows inflation-adjusted annuity income is still below the levels of 2000.

Annuity income is the income life-insurance companies pay out as a form of financial protection and so serves as a proxy for retirement income.

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Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford
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