Apptivity of the Month: FRED

Do you have a bring-your-own-device program in your school district? Do you have a mobile tablet lab? Are you looking for ways to integrate these technologies into your classroom? Well, we have an "apptivity" for you!

What is it?

FRED by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: FRED is an app from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. It allows you to explore vast amounts of past, present, and forecasted economic data from the convenience of your mobile device.

Where can I get it?
You can download the app for free from either of these locations:

What can I do with it?
In this "apptivity," your students will compare economic data for two specific years of their choice. The three categories they will explore are:

  • National Accounts (subcategory: Federal Government Debt)
  • Population, Employment, & Labor Markets (subcategory: Current Population Survey)
  • Prices (subcategory: Consumer Price Index)

Using at least two charts from each category, provide a descriptive comparison of economic conditions between the two years you selected. Be sure to include each of the following:

  • Title of each chart (you must have at least six total).
  • Short description of each chart.
  • Comparison of data for the two years you selected for each of your charts.
  • Evaluation of overall economic conditions for the two years you compared given the data you analyzed.
  • BONUS POINTS! Research the two years you compared and hypothesize about the circumstances that may have led to the economic conditions observed in the charts.

Where can my students go to learn more about the economic data illustrated in the FRED charts?
For the Consumer Price Index, students can access the FAQ at
For the Current Population Survey, students can access the FAQ at

Do you have any more?
Yes! Check the March issue of Extra Credit for our next "Apptivity of the Month."

By Sherilyn Narker, economic and financial education
March 5, 2014