Monetary Aggregates

Current Data

Monetary Services Index (MSI) Project
A database containing monetary services indexes.

Reserves and Monetary Base FRED Category

Historical Monetary Data

We often receive requests for monetary aggregates data that cover time periods prior to January 1959, the beginning date for the Board of Governors currently published monetary aggregates. Various data are available for these years, but not all data are consistent with the current definitions of the Board's monetary aggregates. This section discusses available data. The problem is not one of finding data; the problem is one of constructing monetary aggregates that are consistent with currently published definitions.

Some common sources of historical monetary data are:

  • Banking and Monetary Statistics
    Volume 1, 1914-1940
    and Volume 2, 1941-1970 are available on FRASER.
    Originally published by the Federal Reserve Board, now out of print.
  • A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960
    by Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz (Princeton University Press, 1963).
  • Monetary Statistics of the United States
    by Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz (1970) (out of print).
  • Appendix B: Historical Data
    by Nathan S. Balke and Robert J. Gordon, in R.J. Gordon, ed., The American Business Cycle (University of Chicago Press for the National Bureau of Economic Research, 1986), pp. 781-850.
  • Historical Statistics of the United States, Millenium Edition, (Cambridge University Press, 2006). The chapter by Richard Anderson that discusses historical monetary aggregates is available as Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis working paper 2003-006. A data appendix to that working paper containing images of selected original source documents is available: Some Tables of Historical U.S. Currency and Monetary Aggregates Data.

Historical (Pre-1959) Monetary Aggregates

Robert H. Rasche, in articles from 1987 and 1990, produced monetary aggregates for 1948-1958 that are consistent with current Federal Reserve Board definitions. The official measures of the money stock in the United States currently published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System start with January, 1959. Excerpts from Rasche's two articles are below.  For a history of the Federal Reserve's definitions of monetary aggregates, see Anderson and Kavajecz (1994) and Kavajecz (1994).

M1

The attached files contain data that provide a measure of M1 and the currency component of M1 (seasonally adjusted) beginning January, 1929. These data follow the method outlined in Rasche (1987).

M2 and M3

The attached files contain data that provide measures of M1, M2 and M3 series for the period 1948-58. These data follow the methods in Rasche (1990). The M1 component differs slightly from that produced by the method in Rasche (1987) because it omits the "shift adjustment" for flows into the checkable deposit component of M1. These data are constructed via a Rats program, available here as a zipped file.

Rasche (1987) Appendix A
from Robert H. Rasche Paper "M1 - Velocity and Money-Demand Functions: Do Stable Relationship Exist?"
Reprinted from Journal of Monetary Economics, 1987, 27, pp. 70-72, Copyright 1987, with permission from Elsevier.

Rasche (1990) Appendix
from Robert H. Rasche Paper "Demand Functions for Measures of U. S. Money and Debt"
Reprinted from Financial Sectors in Open Economies: Empirical Analysis and Policy Issues published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 1990.

Retail Deposit Sweep Programs

Data: Federal Reserve Board Data on OCD Sweep Account Programs

Article: "Sweeps Distort M1 Growth"
Monetary Trends cover page (November 1995).

Article: "Retail Sweep Programs and Money Demand"
Monetary Trends cover page (November 2002).

Article: "Retail Sweep Programs and Bank Reserves, 1994-1999"
Richard G. Anderson and Robert H. Rasche
Review January/February 2001, 83(1), pp. 51-72.

Publications & Resources

Monetary Trends
A graphical review of U.S. monetary and financial conditions. The cover contains an essay on a current topic concerning money, financial markets, or a related issue.

US Financial Data
A graphical review of U.S. monetary and financial conditions. The cover contains a calendar of recent and upcoming economic news, with estimates of market expectations.

U.S. Monetary Policy & Financial Markets
by Ann-Marie Meulendyke, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Understanding Open Market Operations
by M.A. Akhtar, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Annual Reports of Open Market Operations
published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


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