The IMF Country Reports Series covers economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with officials of the country, is published at the option of the member.
This Selected Issues paper on the United States explains the behavior of inflation and unemployment during 1997-98. The paper highlights that a simple Philips curve equation relating inflation to the unemployment gap has overpredicted inflation since 1993. The mean forecast error for 1994-97 is greater than zero by an amount equivalent to two-thirds of the standard deviation of the forecast error. The paper also examines the developments in the U.S. stock prices. Alternative approaches to social security reform are also discussed.