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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

A house divided against itself cannot stand : Explaining the composition effect in housing prices

[embedded content] Our recent post on women in the workforce included a lyric from Dolly Parton and an explanation of the composition effect. Here’s the formal definition: “The part of the observed between-group difference in the distribution of some economic outcome that can be explained by differences in the distribution of covariates.” That’s a doozy of a definition, so let’s use a picture that’s worth 1,000 words to explain it… The graph shows the year-to-year growth rate of average...

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Currency arbitrage in the precious metals market: A gold rush?

[embedded content] FRED’s as good as gold, and the FRED Blog has used London Bullion Market Association data to prove it. In fact, our previous post tracks gold prices and appraises the new gold bar at the St. Louis Fed. Now these gold prices are quoted in three different currencies—U.S. dollars, British pounds, and euros—which is a golden opportunity to discuss arbitrage. Arbitrage is the risk-free purchase and sale of an asset to profit from a difference in price across markets....

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The price and weight of a bar of gold : Raise the bar at the St. Louis Fed’s Economy Museum

[embedded content] The U.S. Mint is missing one gold bar. No. This isn’t the plot of a National Treasure sequel. It’s the latest addition to the St. Louis Fed’s Economy Museum: a 9.75” long, 1.5” tall bar of gold on loan from the Mint. Because the bar is 99.999% pure gold, it weighs 28 pounds! So, how much does a 28-pound gold bar cost? Let’s use FRED data to figure out the price of this bar, which is on display, coincidentally, right across from the museum’s FRED exhibit. Although some...

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What’s the state of your air quality? : State-level CO2 emissions

View on GeoFRED® Many data series in FRED are versatile enough to be viewed in different ways. We’ve offered two perspectives so far on CO2 emissions at the national level. Today, we offer another perspective—emissions at the state level—thanks to GeoFRED. The map above shows total emissions for each continental U.S. state. These numbers depend on the number of residents, types of economic activity, and types of fuel used. So it’s no surprise that the most populous states are the ones...

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Data fluctuations from Manic Monday to Freaky Friday : FRED tracks weekdays per month, quarter, and year

[embedded content] High-frequency data can include seasonal factors that affect economic activity. The timing of federal and local holidays changes each year, and weekends can fall all over the place in any given month. So not every period has the same number of business days. FRED now has data to help you sort that out. Although it doesn’t account for holidays, the graph above shows the number of weekdays in a month. The data come from a release on domestic auto and truck production...

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Central banking since 1701 : Three centuries of Bank of England asset data

[embedded content] The British have a history of recording excellent historical data, and we’ve already written a few related posts. Today we look at central bank assets for the Bank of England, founded in 1694. The graph above shows the assets as a share of GDP since 1701, which is a remarkable timeline, especially because it requires estimates of GDP from before the American Revolutionary War not to mention the Battle of Culloden! This FRED graph shows us that assets in the 18th...

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CO2 in the air: How does it get there? : CO2 emissions by fuel type and sector

[embedded content] In a previous post, we looked at carbon emissions by fuel type broken down by different economic sectors. Today, we slice the data another way: We look at each economic sector and break down their emissions by fuel type. The first graph shows that the big emitters are transportation, electric power generation, and industry. Overall emissions have tended to decline, mostly thanks to a decline from power generation. [embedded content] The next graph shows the commercial...

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Have you heard the news? News can affect markets : The effects of economic news on expectations of future financial performance

[embedded content] FRED’s all about data, which economists often use to conduct or test their research. So let’s look at some of that research… In a recent St. Louis Fed working paper, economists Maximiliano Dvorkin, Juan M. Sanchez, Horacio Sapriza, and Emircan Yurdagul study how the arrival of news affects emerging markets. They use a logic from a 2006 paper by Beaudry and Portier to identify news events—aka “shocks.” The idea is to compare a financial index that captures the expected...

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Do government dollars drive recovery? : The conventional wisdom and data behind government spending during recessions

[embedded content] Conventional wisdom suggests that, once you determine the appropriate level of government spending on goods and services, this level should grow more or less in line with the growth of the broader economy. Keeping the growth rate of government spending stable over the business cycle helps stabilize the business cycle. But let’s see what the data show: The FRED graph above plots (1) the percentage change year-to-year of total government spending on goods and services...

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Working 9 to 5: Women make up more of the workforce : A look at women in the workforce by sector

[embedded content] “Tumble out of bed and I stumble to the kitchen. Pour myself a cup of ambition…”  —Dolly Parton The song and the movie 9 to 5 were released in 1980, back when women made up only 41% of employed workers in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has continued to collect the data and recently announced that women have broken through the 50/50 threshold in the U.S. workforce: That is, more women are employed than men. As the FRED graph above shows, this is the second...

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