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Understanding the Data


What Formulas are Used to Calculate Growth Rates?

Note that because FRED uses levels and rounded data as published by the source, calculations of percentage changes and/or growth rates in some series may not be identical to those in the original releases. The following formulas are used: Change:   … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding the Data, Frequently Asked Questions

What Dates are Used for the U.S. Recession Bars?

The NBER recession data is available at http://www.nber.org/cycles/cyclesmain.html. The monthly dates for the peaks and troughs are represented as daily dates in the charts as: Peak, Trough 1857-06-01, 1858-12-01 1860-10-01, 1861-06-01 1865-04-01, 1867-12-01 1869-06-01, 1870-12-01 1873-10-01, 1879-03-01 1882-03-01, 1885-05-01 1887-03-01, 1888-04-01 … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding the Data, Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Order of Processing in FRED Graph?

Data values are calculated in the following order: (i) frequency aggregation (if any), (ii) units transformation (if any; e.g., percent change), and (iii) any formula you may have created (e.g., the formula “a – b” would find the difference between … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding the Data

How is the Number of Decimal Places Determined for Aggregated Values?

When converting higher-frequency values to lower-frequency values, the average, sum, and end-of-period aggregation methods use the same number of decimal places as the original data. For example, the monthly values of 100.1 (Jan), 100.4 (Feb), and 100.9 (March) will be … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding the Data

How are Data Aggregated When Periods Overlap?

It is possible for higher-frequency periods to overlap lower-frequency periods. For example, a week can start in one month and end in the next month. In these cases, FRED frequency aggregation will include the higher-frequency value in only one of … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding the Data

How are Missing Values Treated in Average, Sum, and End of Period Aggregation Methods?

Except for the first and last observations, the average, sum, and end-of-period aggregation methods ignore any other missing values. For example, consider a daily series from 2003-06-01 to 2003-07-31 with a missing value for Friday 2000-07-04, the US Independence Day … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding the Data

How are Missing Values Determined for First/Last Observations?

Higher-frequency data may not be available for an entire lower-frequency period. For example, a monthly data series may end in February. With only 2 of the 12 months of the year available, the converted annual value will be missing for … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding the Data

What is Frequency Aggregation?

Frequency aggregation converts higher-frequency data series into lower-frequency data series (e.g., from monthly data to annual data). In FRED, the highest data frequency is daily and the lowest data is annual. There are three aggregation methods available: Average: This method … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding the Data

How do I get to a Data Source’s Website?

There are three ways to get to a data-source website. Option 1: Below a graph, go to the “NOTES” section. Next to “Source” (on the first line), click the source name (see the red box below) to go to the source’s … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding the Data

How do I get to the Webpage of a Release?

There are two ways to get to the website of a release. Option 1: Below a graph, go to the “NOTES” section. Next to “Release” (on the right-hand side of the first line), click the name of the release (see … Continue reading

Posted in Understanding the Data
FRED Economic Data | St. Louis Fed


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