Resource Links

Macroeconomic resources for students

Macroeconomic data and analysis are available from governments, international agencies, and commercial sources, including many of the leading international financial institutions. Some of our favorites are listed below. Most are free, the rest are free for you via NYU licenses. In most cases, access to licensed material is automatic from an NYU IP address. If you're an NYU student working outside NYU, go through NYU's Virtual Business Library or VBL, which will ask you to log in using your NYU id and pw.

The essentials

Two of the most user-friendly data sources are the St Louis Fed's FRED (extensive US data, growing collection of international data, good interface, somewhat disorganized structure) and the World Bank's World Development Indicators (extensive economic and social indicators for virtually every country). FRED has a simple graphing tool, an Excel add-in, and apps for tablets and cell phones. Google's Public Data Explorer has a nice Gapminder-like set of graphical tools that you can use with WDI, other public sources, or your own data. All of these sources and tools are free.

For country analysis, the Economist Intelligence Unit's Country Intelligence offers reports on a diverse collection of topics (economics, politics, finance). These reports are free through NYU. See the instructions at the top. And keep in mind: Links to vendors are quirky, particularly if you are not accessing them from an NYU ip address. If a link fails, or asks you for money, try going through the Virtual Business Library. For example, to access the EIU's Country Intelligence, go to the VBL, click on Country Information, and follow instructions from there.

As an introduction to FRED, NYU Stern Economics provides a series of video tutorials at its YouTube channel. The six videos are as follows:


News and commentary

Macroeconomic data and analysis (beyond the essentials)

Related materials

This page was created for use with the NYU Stern Global Economy course. Most of the materials for the course, including notes/text and slides, are posted online for general use, either on my course site or on the Global Economy page of the Center for Global Economics and Business.

We're also putting together programs that read data from some public online source and graph it. The Global Economy page includes a set of Stata files that generate up-to-date versions of all of the figures in the notes. We're also working on R programs that do similar things: input data from online sources and graph it. I hope to have some of them posted by late January 2013; see the R page on my course site. Comments welcome. And let us know if you have similar materials you're willing to share.


(c) NYU Stern School of Business | Address comments to Dave Backus.