Federal Reserve Economic Data Add-On for Google Sheets




We offer a free Google Sheets Add-On that gives the user the ability to download economic data from the Federal Reserve website directly into their Google Sheets document.  The add-on is modeled after the Microsoft Excel add-in offered free on the Federal Reserve website.

Federal Reserve Economic Data (aka FRED©), is a free source of economic data by the St Louis Federal Reserve. FRED provides data for over 260,000 US and international time-series from over 75 different sources. Source items include interest rates, economic data, and so on.  The FRED site provides customizable time-series charts for visual analysis.  Often, it becomes necessary to download data for further manipulation and analysis.  That's a process this Google Sheets add-on automates.

The FRED website has a free add-in for Microsoft® Excel®.  The add-in provides one-click instant download of economic time series and the ability to instantly refresh and update spreadsheets with newly released data. This Google Sheets add-on is modeled after the Excel add-in.  Current users of the Excel add-in will be familiar with the data output and refreshing capabilities that is also offered by our add-on.  

The Google Sheets add-on is offered free to the Google community as a service of Brad Smith, CPA, LLC.

Google Sheets Add-on Features

The google add-on includes many of the same feature as the Excel add-in:
  • Download single or multiple series at once
    • Refresh data by individual series or all series at once
    • Specify download parameters
      • Manipulation code (default is download as reported. Example is percentage change)
      • Start date (default downloads all data from inception)
      • Frequency aggregation (for example, aggregate weekly data on a monthly basis.
  • Series search
  • Filter search by tag name
  • Find series id by browsing popular data
    • US
    • International
    • Data releases
  • Create custom graphs for single or multiple series

FRED Google Sheets Add-On Advantages

Even if you are currently using the excel add-in, you will want to add this Google Sheets add-on to your arsenal of tools.  Beside's its ability to quickly download and refresh economic data from the Federal Reserve website, installation of this add-on has the following unique advantages over its Excel add-in counterpart.
  • Available anywhere you have access to the Internet.
  • Not limited to PCs with Excel installed.
  • Platform independent.  Should work on your android phone or tablet.
  • No need to install future updates. Add-on is always up-to-date.
  • Fast updating with server to server connection. 
  • Additional download controls:
    • Data presorted by ascending (default) or descending order.
    • Aggregate data by average (default), sum , or end of period.
  • Once a series has been downloaded, clicking the small black triangle in the upper right corner of the cell containing the series id will reveal more information about that particular series.