How to Install the FRED API Python Toolkit on a 32 Bit Windows 7 System

I mentioned in my last post that the St. Louis Fed’s FRED system has an API and there is a Python wrapper. I just installed it on our 32-bit Windows 7 computer and here are the steps I followed:

  1. Download and Install Python – I am running the 3.3 version of Python.
  2. Download and Install Setup Tools – I chose setuptools‑2.2.win32‑py3.3.exe since it matches my system.
  3. Opened a command prompt – There are lots of ways to do this.  I click the start button and type “command” in the “Search programs and files” field, and hit enter.
  4. Installed FRED using easy_install – I typed “C:\Python33\Scripts\easy_install.exe fred” and voilà!  The Python FRED Toolkit (or wrapper) is on my machine.

You will need an API key to access the service.  I have only been successful getting XML responses with the wrapper.    Based on my research it looks like it is a Python 3 issue.


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