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Reasonable Seasonals? Seasonal Echoes in Economic Data after COVID-19

David Lucca and Jonathan Wright

No 20210325, Liberty Street Economics from Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Abstract: Seasonal adjustment is a key statistical procedure underlying the creation of many economic series. Large economic shocks, such as the 2007-09 downturn, can generate lasting seasonal echoes in subsequent data. In this Liberty Street Economics post, we discuss the prospects for these echo effects after last year’s sharp economic contraction by focusing on the payroll employment series published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). We note that seasonal echoes may lead the official numbers to overstate actual changes in payroll employment modestly between March and July of this year after which distortions flip the other way.

Keywords: seasonal adjustment; COVID-19; Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-03-25
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ets and nep-mac
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