Fed’s Stockton, Chief U.S. Economic Forecaster, Will Retire

The Federal Reserve Board said David Stockton, its head of U.S. economic research and forecasting since 2000, is retiring Sept. 30 after three decades at the central bank.

Stockton, 57, leads 325 people as director of the Division of Research and Statistics, the Fed said today in a statement in Washington. No successor was named.

Stockton is one of the three top Board of Governors staff officials who brief Fed policy makers on interest rates and U.S. and international economic developments. The other two are William English, director of the Division of Monetary Affairs since July, and Nathan Sheets, who’s headed the Division of International Finance since 2007.

While the Fed now discloses the ranges of economic growth, inflation and unemployment projections of governors and regional-bank presidents after Federal Open Market Committee meetings, the central bank keeps secret for five years the forecasts of Stockton and his staff. FOMC minutes, released three weeks after each meeting, use qualitative, rather than quantitative, language to describe the staff projections.

“Dave Stockton is one of the finest economists I have known,” Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in today’s statement. “My colleagues on the Committee and I have enjoyed the benefits of his penetrating and insightful analysis and impeccable judgment.”

In addition to advising the FOMC, the research division produces statistical releases including the Industrial Production and Flow of Funds reports as well as research to support the Fed’s responsibilities in financial stability and bank supervision.

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