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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

Immigration and the Brexit vote: A look at the data

[embedded content] On June 23, 2016, a majority in the United Kingdom voted to exit (or “Brexit”) the European Union, defying most forecasts. One of the reasons cited for this outcome was concern by British citizens about too much immigration from Central Europe and the Baltics.* Is (or was) this concern valid? Let’s see what FRED has to show us about the patterns of net immigration for the U.K. and for Central Europe and the Baltics. The graph tracks net migration—total number of...

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How much cash do banks keep in the vault?

[embedded content] Have you ever wondered how much cash sits in a bank vault? Even if you’re not planning a robbery, you may still be interested in how much liquidity is out there. (In other words, whether your bank is capable of providing you with all the cash for your deposits.) We can’t give details about your bank specifically, but we do have statistics for the banking system as a whole. The graph shows that banks hold about $75 billion in their vaults at any moment, which...

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Gold: malleable, ductile, and volatile : Intraday movements in gold prices

[embedded content] Despite appearances, the graph above has two lines. If you look really closely, you can see a second color peeking out here and there. And what two series are these that track each other so closely? One is the daily price of gold in London as of 10:30 a.m. The other is also the daily price of gold in London but as of 3 p.m. You’d expect these prices to be very close to each other, but let’s graph the percentage change between the price at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to see...

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The Black Death in the Malthusian economy : A glimmer of wage growth in the Dark Ages

[embedded content] If you’re interested in economic history, does FRED have some data for you! The graph above features some of the oldest data in FRED: population in England and real wages in the United Kingdom, starting in 1086 and 1210, respectively. The big picture shows how dramatic the Industrial Revolution has been in lifting wages and sustaining a much larger population after centuries of stagnation. In fact, the growth has been so strong that we should have used logarithms in...

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North American divergence in the work week : U.S. manufacturing workers put in more hours than their Canadian counterparts

[embedded content] This graph shows the average weekly hours in manufacturing for two neighboring countries: Canada and the United States. To make the numbers comparable, we made sure to use the same source for both: the Main Economic Indicators of the OECD. (The OECD tries to keep data definitions uniform across member countries, which is often a problem for labor market data.) What’s striking is that both countries looked similar early on in the time series but then diverged. One...

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Does oil drive inflation? : A look at oil’s influence over producer prices vs. consumer prices

[embedded content] The price of oil has declined recently, but does that mean prices overall have declined? Let’s see if FRED can help us measure how much connection there is between oil prices and the general price level. The graph above compares oil price inflation and overall price inflation in the U.S. over recent decades. The red and blue lines plot the year-to-year inflation rate corresponding to two of the major aggregate price indexes: the producer price index (PPI) and the...

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The lowdown on loan delinquencies : Rates are lower than pre-recession levels…except for mortgages

[embedded content] We heard a lot about the surge in mortgage delinquencies during the past recession. In fact, many believe this was the origin of the crisis. FRED has delinquency data so let’s see how things look now. The delinquency rates in the graph show the proportion of loans from the 100 largest U.S. banks that are more than 30 days past due. Mortgage delinquency is now considerably lower than at the height of the Great Recession, but it is still high compared with the two...

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Are we moving toward a cashless economy?

[embedded content] There’s a lot of talk that the U.S. is moving toward a cashless economy…at least in the sense that people are using more and more “plastic” (credit and debit cards) for transactions and that cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular. One test of this theory is to look at currency in circulation. If this measure stops growing while the economy is growing, it would be an indication that other forms of money have become more important and are serving as substitutes for...

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The unusual duration of unemployment : The scars of the Great Recession

[embedded content] The graph above shows the unemployment rate (right axis) and the average duration of unemployment (in weeks, left axis). It’s well known that the unemployment rate is currently very low. However, the duration of unemployment since the Great Recession has never been longer.* What’s going on? The graph below has an answer. The share of long-term unemployment is significantly higher than in any other post-WWII period. Indeed, those unemployed for more than 6 months (in...

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Who pays what in federal taxes?

[embedded content] In principle, we all have to pay taxes. That includes individuals and corporations. The graph attempts to answer the question of how much each source provides in federal taxes. It’s clear that individuals pay the lion’s share (which doesn’t include social security contributions), and the second-largest source is corporations. The third-largest source is tariffs on imported goods and taxes levied at production. Now, who precisely “pays” these types of taxes is more...

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