Analyzing Federal Reserve Data With Ordinary Least Squares

Sam Shum has a tutorial walking us through extracting and analyzing data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve’s FRED economic database:

Download specific macroeconomic data from FRED St. Louis economic databases and ETL the data. Many other data series can be found at the FRED’s website.

# get unemployment data time series from FRED St. Louis
dfunrate <- get_fred_series("UNRATE", "unrate", observation_start = startdate, observation_end = enddate)
# get University of Michigan consumer sentiment index data time series from FRED St. Louis
dfumcsent <- get_fred_series("UMCSENT", "umcsent", observation_start = startdate, observation_end = enddate)
# combine the two time series data into one data frame
dfall <- cbind(dfunrate,dfumcsent)
# strip or remove redundant month field from data downloaded from FRED St. Louis
dfall <- dfall[,c(1,2,4)]
# obtain the number of data points in the dataframe
mdx <- (1:nrow(dfall))
# convert FRED date field from string to R's date type
dfall$date <- as.Date(dfall$date)

There’s a nice chart builder on the FRED website too, but it’s good to be able to grab the data on your own.

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