Fred lets you share the numbers nuggets you love on Twitter and Facebook or by e-mail. You can also check out GDP and deficit numbers for foreign countries and extensive stats for all the big players such as China, Germany and Japan.
To learn the difference between micro- and macroeconomics, nominal and real GDP, fiscal and monetary policy, or anything else about serious economics, try the Economics Classroom app, by Jason Welker, which has videos, an economics dictionary, and other help with the so-called dismal science.
An iPhone app, Wonky Chart (99 cents from Wonky Chart L.L.C.) has thousands of charts - way more colorful ones than FRED's - that are drawn from numbers at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Congressional Budget Office, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Census Bureau, among others. A collection of videos explain subject areas and how to use the charts, and include a tutorial for chart-reading novices.
Wonky Chart has charts that compare recessions and track tax rates, wealth and poverty, to mention a few. Tap the "Info" button on a chart page for notes on how to read the chart.
You can also get the latest economic reports - such as the most recent on construction spending, personal income, and gross domestic product - with an app from the U.S. Census Bureau. It's called America's Economy and is free for Apple and Android phones and tablets.
The app claims "real-time updates for 16 key economic indicators" that are regularly reported by the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
A calendar tells you when reports are due out. Tap one of the latest listed reports for details on what the report means, along with a chart and icons for sharing your newfound knowledge via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail.
Contact Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114, email@example.com or @ReidKan on Twitter.