Pieces of Eight: News Bulletins from the Eighth Federal Reserve District

January 01, 1999
By  Jeryldine Tully

Regional Economist Takes Its Show on the Road

Starting next issue, you'll see all-new content in the Pieces of Eight section. The usual Pieces of Eight content will be replaced by an economic profile on a town or city somewhere in the Eighth Federal Reserve District (see map). We'll discover—in-person—the economic aftereffects in areas that have undergone major recent changes, whether they be positive or negative, man-made or acts of God.

We're making the change for two reasons. First, we learned in last year's readership survey that the Pieces of Eight section was the only one in The Regional Economist that went largely unread (so if you're reading this now, you're the exception!). Secondly, we wanted to look for a way to impart more regional information into the publication to balance the increasingly global nature of the economic topics covered in the three main articles.

We're looking forward to learning more about our region and sharing that information with you. If you have ideas about which areas would be interesting for us to visit, send them to Jeryldine Tully at Jeryldine.Tully@stls.frb.org.

Data Page Changes on the Way

Starting with the April issue of The Regional Economist, the data pages will have a new look. We're revamping the content, in addition to freshening up the design. To make way for the community profile that will replace the content that usually appears on this page (see related story above), the number of data pages will be reduced to three from five. We're also introducing a national and regional economic briefing essay for those who would like a text synopsis of current data trends.

The new data pages will cover banking, as well as regional business, national economic and agricultural indicators.

  • The District banking data will look familiar; the only thing missing will be the breakouts of performance ratios by bank size.
  • The regional business indicators will be condensed to one page, instead of two, with the data reformatted to highlight growth rates, rather than levels. Some new data series also will be added; for example, year-to-date housing permits for each of the seven District states will be reported. In addition, charts highlighting District economic data that come out less frequently will be rotated among the four yearly issues.
  • A third page will contain national economic indicators, like GDP growth and inflation, as well as agricultural data.

We realize that some of you will still want to have access to the data we're eliminating. Not to worry: Starting in April, all of the data series you're used to seeing in printed form in The Regional Economist will be available on FRED®, the Bank's economic data base.

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