I was recently honored to receive the UCSD Chancellor’s Associates Award for Excellence in Research and Social Sciences. Here’s a video they made for the event.
Among the disappointments in the 2015:Q1 GDP figures was weak consumption growth, which was a little surprising given the extra cash most consumers have on hand as a result of lower energy prices. I wanted to take a look at how the recent consumer behavior compares with what we’ve seen historically.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that U.S. real GDP grew at a 0.2% annual rate in the first quarter. And that was even after a big inventory build-up from goods produced but not sold. Taking out the inventory contribution, real final sales fell by half a percent at an annual rate.
The economy has steadily been moving closer to the Fed’s long-run objectives. But we’re still not there yet.
Congratulations to Joseph, winner of this year’s Econbrowser NCAA tournament challenge. Even though the championship game has yet to be played, using high-level mathematics I have deduced that no one can catch Joseph’s lead, no matter who wins Monday’s game. Hats off to Joseph, Vivian Darkbloom and many others of you who answered, yes, Wisconsin could beat Kentucky.
Two number one seeds meet in the finals, just as I predicted. Unfortunately, I had the wrong pair!
On Friday I visited the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where falling oil prices have brought a record provincial budget deficit despite aggressive tax increases and spending cuts. Here I pass along some of what I learned about how the plunge in oil prices is affecting Alberta’s oil sands operations.
As widely expected, at Wednesday’s FOMC meeting the Federal Reserve dropped its statement that “the Committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy”, the magic formula that many observers had thought would open the way for a hike in interest rates at the Fed’s June meeting. But the yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury bond dropped 10 basis points immediately following the FOMC release.
It’s time to get ready for the world famous eighth annual Econbrowser NCAA tournament challenge, in which readers and friends of our blog are invited to demonstrate their skill (or luck) at predicting the outcome of the U.S. college mens’ basketball tournament. If you want to participate, go to the Econbrowser group at ESPN, do some minor registering to create a free ESPN account if you haven’t used that site before, and fill in your bracket some time between Sunday at 7:00 p.m. EDT and Thursday before noon.
The big question is whether anybody can beat Kentucky?