The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index eased a bit to 5.143 in the week ended March 27 after 5.713 in the prior week. The two weeks are still the sorts of readings seen during the financial crisis in 2008 but the modest week-to-week decline suggests that central banks’ efforts to calm markets and restore some confidence are having an effect in the short term even as the COVID-19 pandemic makes conditions highly uncertain.
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