Meeting/Event Information

Chicago Federal Reserve - State of the Economy

March 21, 2019
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

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Chicago Chapter of the Appraisal Institute
205 W. Wacker Dr. Suite 202
Chicago, IL 60606


When: Thursday, March 21st
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Where:  The Chicago Chapter of the Appraisal Institute
205 W. Wacker Dr. Suite 202, Chicago 60606

Cost - Dependent on registration timing:
$35 members - with both early discounts and late charges applicable
$45 non-members with both early discounts and late charges applicable

Join us for this PDM -The State of the Economy presentation, which is being held jointly with ISM Chicago.
Registration for this Meeting - The State of the Economy will be taken on the ISM Chicago Website.
To go to the ISM Chicago website to register online:

Back in the 1950’s Truman famously said he wanted a one-armed Economist, because he was tired of hearing, “on the one hand, but then again on the other hand”. Such a situation exists as we prepare to enter the second quarter of 2019. 2019 has had discussions around all of the usual economic topics, plus tariffs, but with tariffs on hold, attention is being given to Debt - Debt of all kinds -- the National Debt, State and Municipal debt (especially concerning pension funds), mortgage debt, student loan debt, auto loan debt, and credit card debt - not to mention farm loans, small business laons, etc. Not surprisingly, according to the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) kept by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis all these forms of debt in aggregate are roughly as high or higher than they have ever been. This is on the one hand.

However, on the other hand, there is good news or at least moderating news. While Total Public debt as a percentage of GDP is up, interest on the National Debt as a percentage of GDP is relatively low. The ratio of Household debt to GDP is down and fairly flat. Consumer debt service payments as a percentage of disposable personal income currently sits between its thirty year high and its 30 year low, and has been relatively flat for over two years.

So what does any of this mean? Is debt in general good or bad, and will these levels of debt pull down the economy or are they signs of a healthy economy? Fortunately, our State of the Economy presenter Leslie McGranahan, is well equipped to provide insights in to these questions. Ms. McGranahan recently published a Fed Letter titled, “Consumer Credit Trends by Income and Geography in 2001–12”, and has published other relevant works including: “The Fiscal Cliff and the Dynamics of Income”; “Do Household Finances Constrain Unconventional Fiscal Policy?”; and “The Great Recession and Credit Trends across Income Groups”. Join us for this timely presentation on the State of the Economy, where insights on the relationship of various forms of debt to economic health will be discussed along with other economic considerations.

Leslie McGranahan is Vice President and Director of Regional Research in the Economic Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Ms. McGranahan returned to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2004 after working as a lecturer at the University of Warwick, and as research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, England. Ms. McGranahan’s primary research interests relate to the effects of federal, state, and local government policy on individuals and households. Ms. McGranahan has written about numerous government programs including the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, and the sales tax. Ms. McGranahan also closely follows regional and national developments in government spending and revenues. Ms. McGranahan received a Bachelor's degree in Politics from Princeton University, a Master's degree in Economics and a Doctorate degree in Economics from Northwestern University.

You will receive the APICS-Chicago member discount when you go to the ISM Chicago website to register online: