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ECN 221: Public Finance: The Federal Reserve Bank

Prof. Jac Heckelman's course ECN221 Public Finance

The Federal Reserve Bank

Economic Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
The St. Louis branch maintains 7 different databases:
  • FRED® (Federal Reserve Economic Data) is a database of over 3000 U.S. economic time series. With FRED you can download data in Microsoft Excel and text formats and view charts of data series.
  • ALFRED® is a collection of vintage versions of U.S. economic data. Economic data for past observation periods are often revised as more accurate estimates become available. As a result, previous vintages of data can be superseded and may no longer be available. ALFRED makes it possible to gather data as reported by a source on past dates in history.
  • ® is a data-mapping tool which displays color-coded data on the state, MSA, and county levels. For example, GeoFRED can display unemployment, labor force, and population for all U.S. counties. Users can select among 12,000 FRED® data series and customize these printable maps according to size, scope, and detail.GeoFRED
  • GeoFRED makes FRED even more convenient for users by recording a user's preferred graph settings, which are chosen from a variety of options, such as frequency of data, date range, and graph size. On each new visit to FRED, the user can receive the newly graphed data in that user's chosen style.
  • FRASER® is a project to expand our mission of providing economic information and data to researchers interested in the U.S. economy. On this web site you will find links to scanned images (in Adobe® Acrobat® PDF format) of historical economic statistical publications, releases, and documents.
  • Liber8® is a portal that links to economic information from the Federal Reserve System, government agencies, and international data sources. Liber8 was designed with university reference and government documents librarians, college and high school students, and teachers in mind.
  • CASSIDI® provides nationwide data on banking market structures and definitions, as well as banking markets for individual depository institutions; users can perform "what if" (pro forma) analyses to see how potential mergers or acquisitions could affect market structures and competition.

The Federal Reserve Bank

The Federal Reserve Bank

The district banks of the Federal Reserve collect and present a wide array of regional economic statistics:
  • Try the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta for data on the Southeast US
  • Look to Boston for New England's data
  • Look through the Chicago branch's site for midwest manufacturing data
  • At the Cleveland branch, you'll find data about the upper Great Lakes region, including detailed data about mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures.
  • The Dallas branch follows the states of Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico
  • At the site for the Kansas City branch, you'll find interest rates and other national level economic data.  Look in the left-hand tool bar for "Interest Rates" 
  • The Minneapolis Fed presents summary econmic data from "The Beige Book" for each district and the country from 1983 to the present.
  • The New York branch presents regional and national data, but it also has a thorough section of economic indicators for other countries.  Look in the left-hand menu bar for "Global Economy".  Then, scroll down until you see the link for "Global Economic Indicators", and use one of the 2 pull-down menus to select the county in which you're interested. 
  • Philadelphia's branch presents a wide variety of data for its region
  • See Richmond for mid-Atlantic states including North Carolina
  • Try St. Louis for CPI, PPI, unemployment statistics and much more.  Its databases called Fred and Fred II contain extensive national data.

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