Ask Me Econ (9/12/2021)

Got a questions on the economy or economic policy? Please put them in the comment section or email me. I will reply here and write a follow-up post tomorrow.

Here’s your chance to ask me your economics questions, including macroeconomic conditions, financial markets, forecasting, consumer spending, household finances, and, of course, economic policy. Put them in the comments section below or email me at

You will get an answer from me today. If I don’t have anything to offer, I will say so. A cardinal rule for Fed staff answering questions in the Boardroom is: “Don’t make shit up.” I never do.

Then tomorrow I will write a post with my answers to some of the questions.

Soon my “Ask Me Econ” posts will be for paid subscribers only, so please subscribe. Here’s more information on what my Substack will offer you.

Morning Chart: Inflation and Its Average During Covid

Do NOT freak out about inflation. Put it in the context of the entire crisis.

Inflation during 2021 has been around 4% since May--a notably higher pace than in recent decades. Even so, the average pace during the Covid crisis is on track to be only somewhat above 2% at the end of this year. How can that be? Inflation in 2020 was considerably lower than 2% and the monthly changes in prices have stepped down in recent months. See my recent post on inflation.) The Fed’s new framework adopted in August 2020 targets “average” inflation and “broad-based” and “inclusive” employment.

You can have your own forecasts for inflation, you cannot have your own framework.

We get the official estimate of Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) for August on Tuesday.