33rd Annual St. Louis Fed Conference Focuses on Projecting Potential Economic Growth at Home and Abroad


ST. LOUIS — Nationally recognized economists, researchers and policymakers will meet at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on Oct. 16 and 17 to discusss "Projecting Potential Growth: Issues and Measurement," the theme of the St. Louis Fed's 33rd annual Economic Policy Conference.

"Projecting potential growth has long been of interest to policymakers because the desirability of short-run changes in monetary policy must be judged against the long-run trend in the economy," said Richard G. Anderson, vice president in the St. Louis Fed's Research Division and conference coordinator, along with St. Louis Fed economist Kevin L. Kliesen. "Overestimating the growth trend, for example, in part led to the inflation acceleration of the 1970s. Later, Alan Greenspan shocked his colleagues on the FOMC in the mid-90s by correctly seeing the acceleration of trend growth. More recently, policymakers are again debating whether the trend has slowed to its 1973-94 pace."

An international theme is evident throughout the conference, with papers discussing the United States, Canada, Europe, and China. The session on Thursday afternoon session will be devoted to a highly accessible discussion of potential growth by Bob Arnold of the Congressional Budget Office and Ken Matheny of Macroeconomic Advisers in St Louis. The CBO's projections of potential growth long have been regard as the "gold standard" and are widely accepted by academic economists and policymakers, both in the Congress and the Federal Reserve. Macroeconomic Advisers has won many awards for the quality of its forecasts.

The conference concludes with an international panel of policymakers, including a deputy governor of the central bank of Brazil, a member of the governing council of the Bank of Finland, and James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis.

For a complete agenda of speakers and times, log on to: https://research.stlouisfed.org/conferences/policyconf/33program.html

With branches in Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis serves the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which includes all of Arkansas, eastern Missouri, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. The St. Louis Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., comprise the Federal Reserve System. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve System formulates U.S. monetary policy, regulates state-chartered member banks and bank holding companies, provides payment services to financial institutions and the U.S. government, and promotes community development and financial education.


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