The most recent will be at the top. I will add links to sets of graphs in the table below. (NOT YET FUNCTIONAL)
|Consumption and its Components||PCE inflation||GDP growth & components: C, I G, X-M||GeoFred county unemployment|
Inflation: The FRED landing page highlights the CPI at the top of their quick graphs. Turned that index into a rate of change and you get the "headline" inflation number. Frequently – appropriately – food and energy prices should be stripped out to provide "core" inflation. Empirically, food and energy prices don't feed into future core inflation and they add to volatility in the short run. That is, they are mainly "noise" and are not what we want to listen to. Below however I provide an alternate measure, the PCE (personal consumption expenditure) series from the NIPA (=GDP) accounts. Among other differences, housing figures less prominently so the item weights are different, and the weighted averaged is calculated in a different manner.
GDP: As an annual rate, and as a rate of change. They convey very different images! Note that the data here are for nominal GDP, not corrected for price changes. We normally want to look at REAL data. For GDP the price index is called the GDP deflator, which includes import and export prices and prices for investment goods. The price index for the consumption part is called the PCE deflator. It differs from the CPI because it gives a very different weight to housing. [Remember that NEW housing construction falls under "I" Investment and not "C" consumption. I will at some point put together a graph in FRED that shows the shares of C and I in GDP. (Actually, that would make a nice blog post.)
PCE: Personal Consumption Expenditures. It is hard to "eyeball" data with a strong growth trend - cf below. You need to look at growth rates (year-over-year is often best for Econ 102 purposes). Sometimes a log scale works. Or doing a relative share chart, as in class. Hence the two combined graphs showing ratios of PCE: