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The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is the center of the Eighth District of the Federal Reserve System. This District includes Arkansas, eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, western Kentucky and Tennessee, and northern Mississippi.

FRED

Public construction spending: Building up U.S. infrastructure

The FRED Blog has used U.S. Census data to compare private construction spending across different types of structures. Today we build on that topic by comparing the different types of public construction spending. The FRED graph above shows spending data between 1993 and 2020. During most of these years, local, state, and federal construction projects amounted to one out of every four dollars spent on construction. As of 2020, public construction spending was $361 billion. Let’s look...

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Recreational Data in FRED : Using BLS data to track fun, 2007-2019

The FRED Blog has discussed the growing share of personal spending on recreation. But where, precisely, are households spending their leisure time? FRED data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Industry Productivity release can show us a few things: The FRED graph above plots inflation-adjusted business activity, or real output, for five different industries in the amusement, gambling, and recreation industry subsector. The BLS reports output as an index value, which is set at...

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Residential segregation and redlining

In a recent post, the FRED Blog described how the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) created color-coded maps of 239 cities across the U.S. to indicate the riskiness associated with making mortgage loans in each neighborhood. This practice, adopted between 1935 and 1940, informed the supervisory work of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board over the lenders. Let’s recap the color codes for those maps: Grade A: “Best” (shaded green), where properties were expected to increase or maintain a...

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Teaching the New Tools of Monetary Policy| 2021 Webinar

Instructors have been teaching monetary policy the same way for decades: The Fed conducts open market operations (OMO) to move the federal funds rate higher and lower. However, that description has been out-of-date for over a decade. This presentation (recorded on August 26, 2021) describes the Fed’s current framework and offers teaching suggestions. Presented by Jane Ihrig (Federal Reserve Board of Governors) and Scott Wolla (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis). Find teaching...

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Residential redlining of U.S. neighborhoods

The FRED graph above shows home values for four classifications of neighborhoods from 1930 to 2010. The lowest values (and highest levels of risk) are shown by the red line, which was an intentional choice: Red is the color used in 1930s city maps to mark the residential neighborhoods where lenders deemed they were most likely to lose money when making mortgage loans. And that color gave rise to the term “redlining.” After the Great Depression (1929-1933), the federal government tasked...

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No taper tantrum this time? : Comparing bond market reactions in 2013 and 2021

The FRED graph above shows the daily yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries since the beginning of 2013. On May 22, 2013, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke announced that the Fed would start tapering asset purchases at some future date, which sent a negative shock to the market, causing bond investors to start selling their bonds. (See the dotted vertical line in the graph.) As a result, the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries rose from around 2% in May 2013 to around 3% in December. This...

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Discrepancies in dating recessions : Illuminating the shaded areas on the graph

There’s no hard and fast rule for determining when the U.S. economy has entered a recession, and there’s no one indicator that determines a recession. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Business Cycle Dating Committee defines a recession as a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy and makes that determination by considering numerous indicators of economic activity. They date a recession from the peak of a business cycle through its trough. Most...

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Rents still rising with regional riffs : Rent CPI has been outpacing headline CPI for 20 years

If you’ve been paying rent just about anywhere in the United States, you likely already know that rent has been going up. And the FRED graph above shows exactly that. Average rent in U.S. cities has risen by 85% in just the past 20 years. That’s 30 percentage points above the 55% inflation that’s occurred between then and now (July 2021, at the time of this writing). Rent growth in the Northeast and South has stayed close to the national average in recent years, while growth in the...

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Hawaii rises to the top in state-level labor productivity growth : New data from the BLS track output per hour worked in 2020

Join us on a road trip of FRED data in search of labor productivity. The FRED Blog recently compared the increase in labor productivity during the COVID-19-induced recession with labor productivity in past recessions. Today, we use a recently added data set on state-level productivity from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to compare labor productivity across states. First, labor productivity is output per hour worked. So, when labor productivity increases, an hour of work yields...

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The recovery in leisure and hospitality employment

The FRED Blog has previously looked at the negative impact of social distancing on employment levels in the leisure and hospitality industry. Today, one year later, we take a look at how the overall economic recovery is reflected in this industry. The GeoFRED map above shows the percent change between May 2020 and May 2021 of employment levels in the leisure and hospitality industry for each state. The data are seasonally adjusted, meaning they correct for the recurring ups and downs...

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