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On the radar: St. Louis Fed Financial Stress Index

Amid interest rate hikes, stock market plunges, and the lead-in to a federal government shutdown, signs of financial stress were higher, but by no means suggestive of excessive strains.

The index – which is published weekly – rose to -0.639 in the December 21 week, its highest reading since the -0.549 in the February 26, 2016 week. However, it would be difficult to characterize conditions across the index’s 18 financial market variables as showing particular deterioration. Indeed, the index is well below the 1.0-mark that would indicate some reason for concern. The present index levels are consistent with normal periods of expansion.


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