Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Assets and Liabilities of Commercial Banks in the United States - H.8

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Technical Q&As

This page provides additional information about data in the Board of Governorsí statistical release on Assets and Liabilities of Commercial Banks in the United States (Weekly) - H.8. Most of the information is of a technical nature and represents answers to questions that may be of interest to a range of analysts and researchers. The page will be updated as such questions arise.

Documentation for the statistics in the H.8 release is available on the About page on the Board's website.


What caused the increase in Treasury and agency securities, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) for the week ending April 3, 2013?

Posted: 05/14/2013

The H.8 report released on May 10, 2013 incorporated revisions to historical data for Treasury and agency securities, mortgage-backed securities (MBS); Treasury and agency securities, non-MBS; other securities, non-MBS; and other assets. These revisions were confirmed correct, and their effects have been removed from the growth rates published on page 1 of the H.8 release.

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What changes to the seasonal factors occurred with the September 21, 2012, H.8 release?

Posted: 09/21/2012

In seasonally adjusting the bank balance sheet data, we use the Census Bureauís X-12-ARIMA Seasonal Adjustment Program. (For more information on X-12-ARIMA please refer to http://www.census.gov/srd/www/x12a/ Leaving the Board.) By default, X-12-ARIMA implements a model selection procedure and selects the optimal statistical model from a range of alternatives. However, the automatic model selection process may not deliver stable seasonal adjustment factors over time if the underlying economic time series is subject to large level shifts and other changes that increase its variability. Federal Reserve Board staff has determined that using a fixed baseline model to update the seasonal factors for all bank balance sheet series is preferred to the automatic model selection option as the former approach ensures stability and accuracy of seasonal factors over time while the losses from not implementing the automatic model selection were found to be small. The baseline model uses a first order moving average term in both the seasonal and non-seasonal components for differenced data. As a result of our use of this different X-12-ARIMA option, the cash assets series revised significantly; a few other series exhibited smaller revisions (net due to related foreign offices; allowance for loan and lease losses; and Treasury and agency securities, non-MBS). Revisions to all other series were well within the typical range associated with a quarterly benchmark.

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Last update: May 14, 2013