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Data Note: U.S. - Z.1. Financial Accounts - Recurring changes
Friday, 22 Jan 2016 19:24 ET
By Phillip Thorne
Every quarter, there are changes to the series reported in Federal Reserve's Z.1 "Financial Accounts of the United States" report. This article explains how the changes manifest and how you can access new and replaced series independent of the Data Buffet catalog.

Each family of time series in the Z.1 is assigned a nine-digit numeric identifier by the FRB, and each series has a two-letter prefix.  A series appears as a numbered line item in one or more tables.  The tables regularly undergo these types of change:

  1. Add series - Line item numbering changes
  2. Delete series - Likewise
  3. Change the method of calculation for a series - Assign a new ID
  4. Renumbering of a table
  5. Addition or deletion of tables to reflect changes in sector and instrument categories

Note that in situation (3), the prior series will be discontinued by FRB, and you will need to edit baskets to use the new series.  The replacement series always contains a complete history.

The Data Buffet catalog tree is not always synchronized with the FRB's table layouts, but will always contain all series reported as part of the Z.1  You can retrieve new series directly because their mnemonics are based on the Z.1 numeric identifiers.  The IDs appear in the "coded tables," available as PDFs online: ( http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/Current/Coded/ ).  For instance, the series FL894104005 from table L.1 is named XZFL894104005Q.IUSA in DataBuffet.com.  The nine-digit code is copied directly, and the two-letter prefix is translated as follows:

TableTable PrefixZ.1 ID PrefixData Buffet Concept Prefix
Level SA *** ***  ZFL
Capital gains *** FD XZFD
Change in level *** FC XZFC
Growth rate *** FG ZFG
Revaluation *** FR XZFR
Other volume change *** FV XZFV
Market value *** LM XZLM
Percent change in index *** PC XZPC
Balance sheet B Varies ZFL or XZFL
Debt D Varies ZFA, ZFG, ZLA
Change in net worth R Varies XZF(A, D, L, R, U)

Note that a small number of series are computed by Moody's Analytics.  To support our Consumer Précis product, we compute smoothed versions of the quarterly series from the B.101 balance sheet table (originally B.100).  These have the prefix ZFL· (in U.S. mnemonics, "Z" usually means seasonally adjusted, but not here).

Quarterly series will have the concept code suffix ·Q, annual series have ·A, and all series have the geo code .IUSA.

As of the 2010Q1 release (June 10, 2010), all newly-added series are immediately configured with the correct description, because it is available as metadata in the FRB's bulk data files.  Previously we had to manually locate the series in the coded tables and derive a description ourselves.

Related ReleaseZ.1 Financial Accounts of the United States (f.k.a. Flow of Funds)
SourceU.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB)
GeographyUnited States
Release DateReference date
20 Sep 20192Q 2019
12 Dec 20193Q 2019