(29 September 2021) On Sept. 22, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that it would probably start tightening monetary policy in 2022. Markets hardly noticed the announcement, though, likely because the Fed continues to inject $120 billion of new money into the economy each month. 

  • So far in 2021, the Fed has already purchased U.S. Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities worth $1.1 trillion. 
  • Given that the expansionary monetary policy after the Great Recession resulted in high dependency of the stock markets on the Fed's assets expansion, shutting down the printing presses would be a difficult decision for the Federal Reserve.

Coronavirus Data and Insights

Live data and insights on Coronavirus around the world, including detailed statistics for the US, EU, and China — confirmed and recovered cases, deaths, alternative data on economic activities, customer behavior, supply chains, and more.

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US Purchasing Managers Index Falls Below 50, Signals Contraction

In August, US manufacturing activity contracted 2.1 points from July, the largest contraction in nearly three years. According to the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Purchasing Manufacturing Index (PMI) - commonly referred to as the ISM manufacturing index - fell to 49.1, making the US a late comer to a growing club of large economies, such as China, the Eurozone, Japan, and the United Kingdom, that have likewise reported contracting manufacturing sectors in recent months. The PMI is being dragged down by a sharp decline in new orders, non-farm employment (which increased by...

The World's Largest Economy: China vs United States

Which is the world's largest economy, China or the United States? As is usual in the field of economics, “It depends.” It depends on the methods used to estimate the size of an economy and to compare one economy to another. Despite modern discussions on refining the calculation of gross domestic product (GDP), the standard measure of an economy’s size and performance, to be more inclusive of economic factors that have been ignored to date, such as environmental and natural resource depletion, there is no commonly accepted alternative to GDP. There are, however, at least two commonly...

How Deep an Economic Decline Can the World Expect in 2020?

For the first time during the post World War II era, the global economy is expected to shrink due to measures in force worldwide to suppress the coronavirus, according to the IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO) released on April 14, 2020. In this edition of the WEO, the IMF shortened the forecast horizon to 2021 instead of the expected 2025 horizon and limited the number of indicators available in its statistical tables because of the high level of uncertainty in current global economic conditions. In the baseline scenario—which assumes that the pandemic fades in the second half of...

Wages and the Famous Big Mac: How Far Does Your Income Go?

It sounds like a riddle: how many Big Macs for your entire daily wage? Granted, many of our readers may not even have access to a Big Mac where they live (not to mention those who wouldn’t buy Big Macs if they were vegetarian, among other reasons). So, why is the Big Mac Index from the Economist a well-known concept around the world? It’s simple: Big Macs are easier for the overwhelming majority of the world’s population to understand as opposed to economic concepts like “GDP per capita in purchasing power parities,” which is a mouthful and a complicated concept. The answer to the...