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It’s the great pumpkin FRED graph, Charlie Brown

Producer price index data for pumpkins and other treats


Happy Halloween from the FRED Team!

Economic data can be scary and full of tricks…but it also includes some treats, like this fun FRED series on the price of pumpkins. And we couldn’t help ourselves: We used FRED’s frighteningly awesome graphing tools to “seasonally adjust” this graph in all the right colors.

This data series, by the way, is a recent addition to FRED: goods-level producer price index (PPI) data used in the consumer price index (CPI). The graph obviously looks deserted in places. That is, data points are missing pretty much throughout the year, except in September and October. But if you think about it, that’s when pumpkins are MUCH more popular on the market, right? One simple observation is that the price of pumpkins has been remarkably stable for the past few years. Nothing scary here.

The second spooky graph, below, is all about inflation (price changes) for treats. Specifically, sugary sweets. The two CPI series in green and orange show how costs have increased for consumers; the PPI series in brown shows that costs have increased for producers, too; and the IP series in yellow shows how much production of sweets has changed. This (candy) bar graph reveals some sustained inflation for these goods, recently well above the 2% target the Fed sets for overall inflation. Depending on your sweet tooth, this might be a scary story after all.

How these graphs were created: For the first graph, simply search for “pumpkins,” select the series, and click “Add to Graph.” From the “Edit Graph” panel, use the “Format” tab to select graph type “Bar” and play with the color choices. For the second graph, search for and select one of the series; from the “Edit Graph” panel, use the “Add Line” tab to add the second series by searching for it in the search box. Repeat the search and selection process for the other two series. Now, select units “Percent change from year ago” and apply to all. And, once again, play with the colors in the “Format” tab to make it as spooky as possible.

Suggested by Yvetta Fortova, Keith Taylor, and Christian Zimmermann.

View on FRED, series used in this post: CUSR0000SEFR, CUUR0000SEFR02, IPG3113S, PCU31133113, WPU01130236


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