What is the difference between the LIBOR data on the US Federal Reserve Bank's website [https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/USD6MTD156N] and the data published in the print edition of the Wall Street Journal? Many mortgages use the LIBOR "as published in The Wall Street Journal" as an index for ARMs. But I compared some old data I had from the WSJ (via the Mortgage-X website) with data from the FRB and it's different. For example the 6 month LIBOR for USD on Mar. 8, 2013 was .449 according to the WSJ/Mortgage-X but the FRB has 0.4474 for the same date.


I don't have a definitive source for this, but this looks like the Wall Street Journal quote is that of the previous day. This makes sense in the context of the processes of setting LIBOR, and publishing the Wall Street Journal.

If you look at, say, the October 27th, 2015 six-month LIBOR rate in the FRED data, it is 0.53465. If you look at the following day in the X-Mortgage data set, October 28th, 2015, the six month rate is 0.534xx. Ok, let's move forward a day for each data set: the rate for October 28th in FRED is 0.53365 and for October 29th in X-Mortgage is 0.533xx. In fact, lets look at the whole month:

FRED Date LIBOR X-Mortgage LIBOR 10/1/2015 0.53100 10/2/2015 0.531xx 10/2/2015 0.53450 10/5/2015 0.534xx 10/5/2015 0.52325 10/6/2015 0.523xx 10/6/2015 0.52500 10/7/2015 0.525xx 10/7/2015 0.52660 10/8/2015 0.526xx 10/8/2015 0.52660 10/9/2015 0.526xx 10/9/2015 0.52825 10/12/2015 0.528xx 10/12/2015 0.52625 10/13/2015 0.526xx 10/13/2015 0.52450 10/14/2015 0.524xx 10/14/2015 0.52015 10/15/2015 0.520xx 10/15/2015 0.51590 10/16/2015 0.515xx 10/16/2015 0.51840 10/19/2015 0.518xx 10/19/2015 0.51790 10/20/2015 0.517xx 10/20/2015 0.52440 10/21/2015 0.524xx 10/21/2015 0.52690 10/22/2015 0.526xx 10/22/2015 0.52840 10/23/2015 0.528xx 10/23/2015 0.52690 10/26/2015 0.526xx 10/26/2015 0.53165 10/27/2015 0.531xx 10/27/2015 0.53465 10/28/2015 0.534xx 10/28/2015 0.53365 10/29/2015 0.533xx 10/29/2015 0.54890 10/30/2015 0.548xx 10/30/2015 0.55165 11/2/2015 0.551xx

Why might there be such a shift? Well, according to FRED's data source, LIBOR is set at 11:00am, London time, 7:00am EST. That's too late for the WSJ to print. So, if, on 10/1/2015, the LIBOR rate is set such that the six month average becomes 0.53100 on 10/1/2015, that is what FRED would show. However, that update wouldn't be able to be reflected in the Wall Street Journal until the following day.

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