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St. Louis Fed Annual Report: Go Figure with FRED


ST. LOUIS – Have you met FRED? Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) helps people understand how to use economic data, examine that data critically and make use of it in their lives. In its 2018 Annual Report, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis examines how FRED, a data aggregator, enables people and businesses to make wiser economic decisions, leading to better outcomes for the economy overall.

“Fulfilling this public mission is at the core of why our Research division created and maintains FRED and other online data services that the public can access for free,” writes St. Louis Fed President and CEO James Bullard in the President’s Message.

FRED’s popularity has grown from a modest 620 users when it was introduced in 1991 to 5.9 million users worldwide in 2018. At the end of last year, the FRED database contained more than 520,000 regional, national and international data series from 87 different primary sources.

The new annual report “Go Figure with FRED” includes the following essays:

•      FRED Puts the Data in Your Hands: Katrina Stierholz, vice president and director of library and research information services, writes about how FRED goes far beyond simply providing data and provides a powerful mix of tools.

      Behind the Scenes with the FRED Team: Members of the FRED team discuss the long-standing commitment to public service, the intrinsic value as a data aggregator and where FRED and its information services siblings might head next.

•      Economic Education and FRED: “With FRED (and its extended family), students have access to the most current data from the most reputable sources,” writes Mary Suiter, assistant vice president, Economic Education, at the St. Louis Fed.

•      Do You Know FRASER? The Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research (FRASER) is home to more than a half-million documents to help explain the decisions that shaped the U.S. economy and shed light on the people who made them.

•      FRED’s Got Friends: Hear how friends of FRED in colleges, libraries, offices and newsrooms view the benefits of the easy-to-use economic database.

Read the essays, watch interviews and find out what FRED enthusiasts have to say about the importance of access to data to inform decision-making at