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New Greenbook Forecasts Are Available

For release: 10 a.m., December 4, 2008
Contact: Katherine Dibling, E-mail senior media representative, (215) 574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Real-Time Data Research Center will now offer historical forecasts for the output gap and historical financial assumptions from the Federal Reserve Board's Greenbook.

The Greenbook, produced by the staff at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System prior to each meeting of the FOMC, provides in-depth analysis of the U.S. and international economy. The forecasts and financial assumptions will be released with a five-year lag. The latest available data are from 2002. Updates are expected next year. The data, assembled by Board staff, are posted with the permission of the Federal Reserve Board.

The new variables released include forecasts for the output gap and financial assumptions for the exchange rate, the federal funds rate, short- and long-term interest rates, and equity prices. The output gap — the percent difference between real output and potential real output — is a broad measure of the degree of slack in the economy. It has been used by Board staff in generating its wage and inflation forecasts, checking unemployment forecasts and in other ways.

"We hope these data will help researchers to understand the monetary policy process and encourage additional research on monetary policy," said Tom Stark, macroeconomic database and policy support manager in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Research Department. Stark is also assistant director and manager of the Real-Time Data Research Center.

The Real-Time Data Research Center is part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Research Department. The center is a source of knowledge and expertise about real-time macroeconomic data, surveys of macroeconomic forecasts, and macroeconomic modeling. The center produces macroeconometric analyses and collects and maintains a variety of data sets of value to macroeconomists and monetary policymakers, including the real-time data set for macroeconomists, the Livingston Survey, the Survey of Professional Forecasters, and the Greenbook data sets.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia helps formulate and implement monetary policy, supervises banks and bank holding companies, and provides financial services to depository institutions and the federal government. One of the 12 regional Reserve Banks that, together with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank serves eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.

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