The October 2010 issue of The Regional Economist, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ quarterly review of business and economic conditions, is now available. The issue’s articles include:
- “Disagreement at the FOMC” – Recently released data on economic forecasts made by voting and nonvoting members of the Federal Open Market Committee suggest that there has been more disagreement among committee members than the voting record indicates.
- “European Sovereign Debt Remains Largely a European Problem” – The rapidly mounting debts of the governments of Greece and other European countries caught policymakers off guard earlier this year. Markets panicked amid fears of a financial contagion. But a review of who holds the debt of these countries shows that any contagion risk should be confined to Europe.
- “Benefits and Costs of Low Interest Rates” – On the plus side, low interest rates can spur spending by businesses and households. They can also improve banks’ balance sheets and raise asset prices. But low interest rates discourage saving and encourage people to take more risks when investing.
- “Second Wind Needed” – After a burst of activity late last year and early this year, the economy hit the summer doldrums. While growth prospects are better for 2011, businesses remain hesitant to expand their productive capacity and hire additional workers.
- “The Difficulty in Comparing Income across Countries” – Different currencies and different baskets of goods—these are just some of the problems in comparing incomes around the world. Economists are testing new measurements of growth, such as the amount of light emanated at night from a country, as seen by satellites.
- “When a Sick Economy Can Be Good for You” – A recession, as long as it’s not too deep or too long, may be good for your health, recent studies suggest.