ST. LOUIS – The July 2011 issue of The Regional Economist, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ quarterly review of business and economic conditions, is now available. The full issue can be accessed online at www.stlouisfed.org/publications/re/
The issue’s articles include:
- “Commodity Price Gains”– Commodities of all sorts have risen in price over the past few years. Some say that the prices reflect a bubble, driven by low interest rates and excessive speculation. Others say the price gains can be fully explained by supply and demand. Is either side right?
- “The Mismatch between Job Openings, Job Seekers” – Today’s high unemployment rate is often linked to a structural imbalance—a mismatch between the skills and location required to fill vacant jobs and the skills and geographical preferences of the unemployed. But the evidence downplays the role of this mismatch.
- “The Foreclosure Crisis” – At least early in the financial crisis, the high rate of foreclosures seemed to be due more to households’ overreaching than to predatory lending. A disproportionate number of those being foreclosed on were well educated, well-off and relatively young.
- “A Closer Look at House Price Indexes” – Tracking house prices is important to many people. There are several prominent house price indexes for the U.S. Knowing how they differ can help people decide which one to follow.
- “The Recovery Continues” – Although the pace of economic activity has been inconsistent and somewhat lackluster, the overall economic environment is expected to keep improving.
- “Examining the Growth of the Hispanic Population” – Between 2000 and 2010, Hispanics accounted for more than half of the growth in total U.S. population. In the Eighth District, the growth of Hispanics was much less dramatic—except in rural areas.
- “Segregation Index Shows Decline” – The Index of Dissimilarity suggests that segregation declined for all four major metropolitan areas in the Eighth District between 1970 and 2000. A breakdown of the index helps to show how this happened.
- “Community Profile: Du Quoin, Ill.” – This southern Illinois city aims to diversify beyond the state fair for which it’s best known. One approach has been to find uses for the extensive fairgrounds for the other 355 days of the year.