FEDS Notes are articles in which Board staff offer their own views and present analysis on a range of topics in economics and finance. These articles are shorter and less technically oriented than FEDS Working Papers and IFDP papers.
Industry concentration—the share of sales or output accounted for by the largest firms within an industry—has received widespread attention recently, in part because concentration has generally risen in recent decades (figure 1). Measurement challenges are at the core of concentration-based inquiry: industry sales concentration is one of the lowest-frequency business statistics produced by the U.S. statistical agencies, with concentration data being released only twice per decade as part of the Economic Censuses.
Once considered "unconventional," balance sheet policies have become an integral part of the toolkit of many central banks. Increased reliance on balance sheet policies reflects in part a decline in the neutral level of interest rates, which limits central banks' ability to cut their policy rates to support the economy during downturns, and many observers expect that neutral level to remain low relative to its historical average in the coming decades.
New Insights from N-CEN: Liquidity Management at Open-End Funds and Primary Market Concentration of ETFs
Structural vulnerabilities associated with open-end funds have received increasing attention among academics and regulators over the past few years. Despite the effort by policymakers to enhance the liquidity risk management practices at these funds, evaluating the availability, use and effectiveness of liquidity management tools continues to be a challenging task in assessing vulnerabilities in open-end funds, largely because comprehensive data on open-end funds' access to liquidity management tools remain scarce.
With the reopening of economies from strict COVID-19 lockdowns and the war-induced sharp increases in food, energy, and other commodity prices, headline inflation has surged globally, as shown for a few selected advanced economies by the black line in the left panel of figure 1. Core inflation (the dashed red line) has also risen sharply and has become increasingly persistent across these economies.
Uncertainty about inflation has risen considerably across the globe since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of clarity about how far inflation might fall during the depths of the pandemic gave way to concerns about inflationary pressures as demand surged and supply was constrained throughout 2021.
Disclaimer: FEDS Notes are articles in which Board staff offer their own views and present analysis on a range of topics in economics and finance. These articles are shorter and less technically oriented than FEDS Working Papers and IFDP papers.