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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

In poor countries, no richer but living longer? : World Bank data on life expectancy and GDP in low-income vs. high-income countries

The World Bank has many data series that allow comparisons among countries over time, and today’s FRED graph reveals some trends in life expectancy and national income. Lower life expectancy in low-income countries has been catching up. In 1982, life expectancy at birth in low-income countries was about 66% of what it was in high-income countries. Then life expectancy increased at a faster pace in low-income countries, and the value rose to 78% by 2018. This rising longevity,...

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Workers with a disability : A closer look at disability in the U.S. civilian labor force

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law 31 years ago. The FRED Blog has used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to show that the fraction of people outside of the labor force because of disability is approximately constant. Today we revisit the general topic by looking at the percentage of people with a disability inside the labor force. As a reminder, the civilian labor force is made up of workers who either (i) have a job or (ii) don’t have a...

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How COVID shocked state and local revenue : BEA data track the ups and downs of federal grants-in-aid and local tax revenue

State and local governments receive two major sources of revenue: transfers from the federal government and their own tax receipts. Each of these series (since 1960) is plotted in the FRED graph above in billions of dollars at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. Both series trend upward over the past 70 years, as each has grown with the U.S. economy overall. The graph shows the pandemic’s effect on the economy. First, the CARES Act, signed into law in March 2020, allocated hundreds of...

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A new measure of economic health : New FRED data decomposes the evolution of monthly GDP

FRED just added a new family of data that can help us get a read on the U.S. economy. The BBKI (Brave-Butters-Kelley Indexes) draw on about 500 indicators and search for some commonality among them, thanks to a technique called dynamic factor analysis. This analysis allows for an estimate of monthly GDP and decomposes it into different components. (GDP measures are typically quarterly, and this innovation is meant to be more timely.) The graph above shows the monthly GDP estimate along...

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Who’s online? Mapping Internet use around the world : World Bank data on national income and Internet use

The FRED Blog has looked at the speed of Internet adoption in a few countries: the U.S., China, Korea, Germany, and India. Today, we use World Bank data to widen our view and map Internet use rates around the world. Then we connect those rates to countries’ per capita GDPs. Our first GeoFRED map identifies the number of Internet users per 100 people in each country. In countries colored blue, over 80% of the population uses the Internet: Liechtenstein is at the top, with a ratio of...

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The growing consumer appetite for fresh fruits : Farm fresh FRED data at your fingertips

The FRED Blog makes every attempt to offer right-off-the-vine FRED data, from the prices paid by consumers for strawberries, grapes, and bananas to the prices received by producers for apples and oranges. And today’s graph harvests a similar set of data with a focus on freshness. The graph shows the proportion of consumer expenditures on fresh fruit (in orange) and fresh vegetables (in green) relative to their processed counterparts. Consumers steadily spend almost twice as much on...

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FRED at 30: Growth in series and users

Every April, the FRED Blog dons its party hat and celebrates FRED’s birthday. This year, FRED turns the big 3-0. In lieu of a cake with candles, we present…what else? A data graph! The scatter plot graph above shows the number of data series (in thousands) accessible through the FRED website and the number of persons visiting the website (in millions) for every year between 2009 and 2020. We’re sorry we can’t show you data all the way back to 1991, when FRED was born. The source of the...

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Consumer spending on milk and cookies : Enjoy some comforting FRED expenditures data

The FRED Blog has looked at consumer comforts before: the seasonal increases in electricity use for cozy heating and cooling and the prices of homemade foods. Today we devote our post to, arguably, the most comforting childhood tradition: milk and cookies. The FRED graph above shows consumer expenditures on milk and cream (in white) and on bakery products (in chocolate chip cookie brown). We’ve adjusted the nominal value of those dollar figures by their corresponding consumer price...

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From PPI to CPI

The consumer price index (CPI) measures the cost of a fixed bundle of consumer goods relative to the cost of those same goods in a chosen reference year. Inflation is the percent change in the index from one year to the next and reflects how prices are changing for consumers. The producer price index (PPI) is a similar construct that measures the price that producers get for their wares. It was formerly called the wholesale price index (WPI). Because many of these goods are...

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ALFRED at 15: Archiving FRED data since 2006

You know FRED, but do you know ALFRED? ALFRED is ArchivaL FRED, which is pretty much what it sounds like: an archive of historical versions (or vintages) of FRED data. ALFRED is turning 15 years old, which is a nice opportunity to describe why recording data history is important. Economic data are often revised over time as more and/or more-accurate information becomes available. Accuracy is important, and that’s what FRED provides. But the original, less-accurate vintages of the...

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