Financial Market Stress Declines for Second Consecutive Week


Please note: Data values previously published are subject to revision. For more information, refer to the vintage series in ALFRED®.

Financial market stress has declined for the second consecutive reporting week. For the week ending Sept. 11, the St. Louis Fed Financial Stress Index measured -0.680, down modestly from the previous week’s revised value of -0.595. Year to date, the index has averaged -1.047, significantly higher than the same period last year (-1.446).

STLFSI Weekly Change graph

Over the past week, 10 indicators contributed negatively to the weekly change, two more than the previous week. The largest negative contributions were made by the index’s two volatility measures:  the Chicago Board Options Exchange Market Volatility Index (VIX) and the Merrill Lynch Bond Market Volatility Index (Mlynch_BMVI_1mo). Seven of the 18 indicators contributed positively to the weekly change in the index, three fewer than the previous week. The largest positive weekly contributions were made by the yield on 30-year Treasury securities (Treas30y) and by the yield on 10-year Treasury securities (Treas10y).

STLFSI Yearly Change Graph

Over the past year, 14 of the 18 indicators made a positive contribution to the index and four indicators made a negative contribution. For the second consecutive week, the three largest positive contributions over the past year were made by the VIX, by the expected inflation rate over the next 10 years (BIR_10yr) and by the Mlynch_BMVI_1mo. For the fourth straight week, the largest negative contribution was made by the Treas30y.

For an explanation of the 18 component variables in the STLFSI, refer to the STLFSI Key.

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The St. Louis Fed Financial Stress Index (STLFSI)

Link to STLFSI in FRED

The STLFSI measures the degree of financial stress in the markets and is constructed from 18 weekly data series: seven interest rate series, six yield spreads and five other indicators. Each of these variables captures some aspect of financial stress. Accordingly, as the level of financial stress in the economy changes, the data series are likely to move together.

How to interpret the index
The average value of the index, which begins in late 1993, is designed to be zero. Thus, zero is viewed as representing normal financial market conditions. Values below zero suggest below-average financial market stress, while values above zero suggest above-average financial market stress.

Note that the bar charts plot the change in the contribution from one week to the next or from the current week compared to the value 52 weeks earlier.

More information
For additional information on the STLFSI and its construction, see "Measuring Financial Market Stress" and the related appendix.

FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data) is the main economic database of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.