Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) offers a wealth of economic data and information to promote economic education and enhance economic research. The widely used FRED database is updated regularly and allows 24/7 access to regional and national financial and economic data.
Choose from hundreds of available variables and upload data directly to your chart. In this guide, we'll walk you through the entire process using a real example.
- Go to Home.
- In the upper-right corner, click the add icon .
- Select FRED.
- Start typing the name or the ID of the variable you're interested in. Let's say we're looking for data on two different variables: imports and exports. Let's start with the first variable and type in Real imports of goods and services. As you type, search suggestions will appear below the search box.
- Select the FRED variable that matches your search. In our case, it's the first result.
You can change the name and units of the variable when applicable, but we'll leave the default name and unit.
- In the b field let's search for Real gross national income.
- In the Formula field, we'll enter a/b*100 to calculate the percentage of import in relation to real gross national income.
- Under Frequency, we'll leave Annual.
Depending on data availability for specific variables, you can choose from Quarterly, Semiannual and Annual data. If you choose a frequency level higher than the default one, you need to set Aggregation Method.
- From the Observation dropdown, select the observation range – a custom time interval in which data is observed. When all observations is selected, all available data is loaded.
Available ranges are:
Fixed dates – choose start and end date for your observation range.
Starts from – choose start date for your observation.
Last – choose quantity and type of measurement to load last available data.
- When you're done loading the variables, click Done.
Now, let's add the second variable. In the Find a data series field, we'll search for and select Real Exports of Goods and Services.
In the b field, let's search for Real gross national income again.
In the Formula field, we'll enter a/b*100 again to calculate the percentage of export in relation to real gross national income this time around.
Click the checkbox next to Show recession bars to mark the recession period, or select a frequency from the Auto-update dropdown menu to ensure the data is automatically updated.
Click LOAD to import the variables into your chart.
Type in the chart name.
- When you're done, click Next.
- Select the chart type that works best with your data. We'll go ahead and select Master/details Line and click Next.
- Click Create Chart.