In 1961, then-Research Director Homer Jones sent out a memo with a few tables, asking what people thought about their value. The idea was that economic data might be more valuable if they were shared broadly.
About 30 years later, the same idea—sharing economic data more broadly—was embodied by the launch of FRED. Since that April day in 1991, FRED has grown from a dial-up bulletin board with 30 series and about 620 users to include more than 520,000 series and millions of users around the globe.
FRED is the focus of this year’s annual report, which includes a behind the scenes look at what FRED is, what it takes to make FRED go and what’s next for FRED. In this segment from the interview series, Katrina Stierholz, Keith Taylor and Yvetta Fortova explain why the St. Louis Fed offers such a service and who some of its family members are.