Real-Time Data Set for Macroeconomists


The real-time data set consists of vintages, or snapshots, of time series of major macroeconomic variables. The data set may be used by macroeconomic researchers to verify empirical results, to analyze policy, or to forecast. New vintages are added monthly.

Historical Data

Download: Complete vintage history. For each variable, you can download the complete time-series history for each vintage.  Data are for the levels of variables.

Download: Only first-, second-, and third-release values. For selected variables, you can download the first-, second-, and third-release values. Data are for period-over-period growth rates (variables that trend) or levels (variables that do not trend).

Background Reading

To understand the purposes and structure of the data set, please read one of the following documents.

Background for researchers: Research economists should read the journal article: "A Real-Time Data Set for Macroeconomists," Dean Croushore and Tom Stark, Journal of Econometrics 105 (November 2001), pp. 111-30. This is the preferred article to cite for technical journal articles. Additional research results not published in the Journal of Econometrics article can be found in "A Real-Time Data Set for Macroeconomists," Dean Croushore and Tom Stark, Working Paper 99-4, June 1999.

Nontechnical background reading: Noneconomists will find the following article from the Philadelphia Fed's Business Review more helpful, since it requires less technical knowledge: "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Data Bank: A Real-Time Data Set for Macroeconomists," Dean Croushore and Tom Stark, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Business Review, September/October 2000.

Resources

Changes: Check the status of the data sets for errata or additional variables.

Realistic Evaluation of Real-Time Forecasts in the Survey of Professional Forecasters, Research Rap Special Report, June 2010.

Recession Dating and Real-Time Data, Research Rap Special Report, June 2008.

2009 Conference on Expectation Formation: View the program and download papers from this February 2009 workshop that brought together researchers in the formation of expectations and macroeconomic forecast surveys.

2007 Conference on Real-Time Data Analysis and Methods in Economics: View the program and download papers from this April 2007 conference that brought together leading researchers in all areas of real-time data analysis.

2001 Conference on Real-Time Data Analysis: View the program and download papers from this October 2001 conference that brought together researchers doing real-time data analysis on topics related to macroeconomics, forecasting, and monetary policy.

Data needed: We need historical data to fill in some gaps in our data set.