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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.

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The distribution of patents across U.S. states : Tracking innovation for Californians, Massachusettsans, Idahoans, Mainers, etc. etc.

FRED Blog posts have discussed patent royalties, R&D, and the balance of payments and the changing geography of U.S. innovation. Today, we tap into a recently added data set from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to discuss the distribution of patented new ideas across U.S. states. The GeoFRED map above shows the number of patents registered in each state during 2019, which is the latest available data point as of this writing. The total number of new patents for the whole...

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The jump in used car prices

Economic restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are being loosened, and economic activity is beginning to pick up. That’s expected to generate temporary increases in consumer price inflation. Over the past few months, prices for energy commodities and services have increased. But the largest monthly change in the April 2021 CPI belonged to another sector: used cars and trucks. The FRED graph above shows that year-over-year growth in used vehicle prices reached 21% in April 2021,...

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Savings are now more liquid and part of “M1 money” : Regulation D has made savings deposits as convenient as currency

Money is marvelously nuanced. Because different assets can be used as money, we need several categories and definitions to keep track of it. M1 describes the most liquid and widely accepted assets used to easily settle transactions: currency, demand deposits, and highly liquid accounts. A previous FRED blog post discussed how recent changes in the opportunity cost of money and the regulation of savings accounts have affected measures of the money stock (a.k.a. monetary aggregates). In...

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Quits vs. layoffs in recessions and pandemics

The FRED graph above compares job separations and hires in the U.S. economy. Usually there are more hires than separations; that is, the number of employed people increases except during recessions. As we see in the graph, the recovery after the 2008-09 recession was remarkable in that hires were greater than separations in almost every month. Of course, this graph is dominated by the wild swings during the pandemic. So let’s look at the details of these separations. The FRED graph...

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Comparing price growth for homes and stock shares

The FRED Blog has discussed how stock market fluctuations don’t accurately reflect overall economic conditions in the U.S. Today, we throw real estate prices into the mix and see what patterns we can find. The FRED graph above tracks total stock shares in blue and Case-Shiller national home prices in red during the most recent economic downturn. We use an index equal to 100 in the first quarter of 2020, the start of the COVID-19-induced recession, to help us easily compare these growth...

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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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