Just how easy is it to use FRED ? I will find out starting four minutes ago, I am trying to set up a FRED account and generate a graph of interest (CPI inflation and nominal wage inflation plotted on time).
I have an account.
19 minutes in. I have downloaded data. Not the data I should have downloaded but that’s not FRED’s fault.
Don’t blame FRED. I can’t handle Excel.
OK here we are 58 minutes in. I can handle FRED. Unfortunately while I am a US citizen and, in theory, a macroeconomist, I don’t know anything about US macro time series (I haven’t dealth with them in over 20 years). I don’t understand why the FRED employment cost index starts in 2001 or so. I barbarically constructed something which has something to do with wages with the snappy name WASCUR-PAYEMS which is equal to the percent change since a year ago of WASCUR (Compensation of Employees: Wages & Salary Accruals) minus the percent change since a year ago of PAYEMS (total non-farm payrolls, all employees).
I still don’t know how to embed the graph which is called Ned Meet Fred.
I admit that WASCUR – PAYEMS is no good. WASCUR doesn’t include fringe benefits. Also it corresponds to quarterly pay not hourly pay, so fluctuations in hours worked per worker show up as if they were wage inflation.
Nonetheless my graph Ned Meets Fred does not fit my prediction (my record remains perfect). WASCUR – PAYEMS does not look like the Atlanta Fed’s index of sticky prices. It was highly correlated with the CPI in the late 40s back when unions were really strong, not correlated in the 70s back when US nominal wage rigidity was justly famous, and is now correlate again.
This feeble effort to deal with US time series data offers something less than no support for Paul Krugman’s Un-COLA hypothesis.