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In Figures 4-5, the May 2001 vintages of these series (from St.
Louis Fed’s ALFRED), as well as the November 2001 payroll series(drawn from Robert Hall’s database) are portrayed alongside the August 2006 series (drawn from the St. The Industrial Production series has been rebased, so the two vintages of data cannot really be compared (I used the log ratio in 1971m12 to rescale the two series so that they match exactly in that month and before).
Figure 3: Manufacturing and Trade Sales (blue, left scale), and Personal Income less Transfers (red, right scale), in billions in Ch.2000$, seasonally adjusted. Source: Census Bureau, BEA, NBER and author’s calculations.
Of the last two series, only the income variable seems to be clearly declining.
In contrast, nonfarm payroll employment peaks in February, or March, or February (2001), as one uses the May, November 2001 or August 2006 vintages.The committee places particular emphasis on two monthly measures of activity across the entire economy: (1) personal income less transfer payments, in real terms and (2) employment.