For one of our class project we are required to do the following:

Download U.S. real GDP in data trapezoid form (vintages)

I tried to search online for what does the data in trapezoid form means but could not find any answer, the trapezoid form is not mentioned in the textbook either. Does anyone happens to know what that term means?

The brackets behind the term say "vintages" and I managed to find a lot of datasets with vintages of real GDP such as this one from Eurostat but I am not sure if "vintages" are the trapezoid form because in none of the datasets that mention GDP vintages there are any mentions for the "trapezoid form"

  • $\begingroup$ I think this video says something about that youtube.com/watch?v=7HTXcAG4le8 $\endgroup$
    – Mike J
    Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ another one youtube.com/watch?v=7BRWnzAhhcQ $\endgroup$
    – Mike J
    Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeJ I actually saw those videos when I was looking for the answer, but is that it? I dont understand how that trapezoid sum makes any sense in regards to GDP data $\endgroup$
    – csilvia
    Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 23:23
  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible to ask your professor for clarity on the assignment. I had difficulty myself looking for this topic. $\endgroup$
    – Mike J
    Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 23:36
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeJ That was actually what I already did - however he always takes his time to reply (usually 1 week based on previous assignments this semester) and this is the step 1 of the assignment that we have two weeks to finish. I already went ahead and just started to do rest of the assignment while waiting for the reply using the vintage GDP series from Euro-stat but I worry that a lot of exercises will have to be redone if its incorrect series (as the assignment builds upon its previous steps). I worry that I wont have enough time to fix it during last week as its long :( $\endgroup$
    – csilvia
    Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 12:39

1 Answer 1


I got the answer from the professor after the assignment was graded during review. I am posting it here as it may help someone else in the future. Apparently, (vintage) data in trapezoid form for GDP are provided at Philadelphia Fed.

They have a trapezoid form because when they are plotted on a contour graph they have a trapezoid shape (the graph is from a correct review sample assignment from our professor):

enter image description here


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