Federal Reserve Bank Senior Economist Shares Insights into Holiday Season Retail Landscape

October 19, 2017 | 47 Minutes

Speaker: William A. Strauss, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

We are in the ninth year of the economic expansion following the “Great Recession” of 2008 and 2009.

During the economic downturn the economy experienced outsized losses in the housing, manufacturing and jobs. Yet, what would typically be a robust recovery has not occurred.

Labor markets while significantly improved are still not quite at a normal level and wage growth remains low. Credit conditions continue to ease from what existed during the recession, but remain restrained for many borrowers and continues acting as a headwind to growth.

The collapse in energy prices has added some boost to the US economy, although due to greater domestic energy production, not as much as in the past. However, the surging value of the dollar over the past several years has lowered growth as net exports deteriorated.

Inflation has been low and below the Federal Reserve’s target for several years, yet the Fed has begun to remove its very accommodative policy.

Mr. Strauss will look at the performance of the overall macro economy with specific attention paid to key economic sectors and indicators for the U.S. economy over the next couple of years.