Charts for Presentations

All teams are required to present data on six indicators and encouraged to include additional important economic indicators in their presentation. For your convenience, we have posted the updated charts with these indicators below. You can copy these charts and use them in your own presentation, if you wish. Some of the charts have associated questions (click on those links below to see the charts and questions). We strongly recommend that teams analyze ALL the charts and answer the questions that accompany them. In each instance:

  • Make sure you understand what is being measured on both axes.
  • Explain what the indicator reveals about the current economy and what may occur in the future.
  • Notice how this indicator usually behaves over the business cycle.
  • Identify what does the indicator tells you about the best course of monetary policy.
Indicator Chart Questions pdf Print version of questions for required charts and some additional charts
 
Economic Indicators 

 Required  |   Additional  |   All 

1. Civilian Unemployment Rate »
2. Core Consumer Price Index or Personal Consumption Expenditures »
3. Headline Consumer Price Index or Personal Consumption Expenditures »
4. Effective Federal Funds Rate »
5. Real Gross Domestic Product »
6. Total Nonfarm Payrolls Employment »



Civilian Unemployment Rate 

Click to view questions

1. Define the unemployment rate.
2. Are full time students unemployed? Retired people? A person who has given up looking for a job because he or she doesn't believe there are any jobs available?
3. What does the unemployment rate tell us about current resource utilization and output gap in the economy?
4. Can you tell the NAIRU from the current unemployment rate?

Core Consumer Price Index or Personal Consumption Expenditures 

Click to view questions

1. Define the CPI and PCE price indices.
2. Explain the difference between headline and core measures of inflation.
3. Which measure is higher right now: headline or core inflation? What does that tell you about food and energy inflation?
4. Are these measures consistent with indicators of the output gap? Explain.

Headline Consumer Price Index or Personal Consumption Expenditures 

Click to view questions

1. Define the CPI and PCE price indices.
2. Explain the difference between headline and core measures of inflation.
3. Which measure is higher right now: headline or core inflation? What does that tell you about food and energy inflation?
4. Are these measures consistent with indicators of the output gap? Explain.

Effective Federal Funds Rate 

Click to view questions

1. What is the federal funds rate?
2. How does monetary policy influence the federal funds rate?
3. What is the approximate current level of the effective federal funds rate?
4. Why has monetary policy kept the rate so low in recent months?
Real Gross Domestic Product 

Click to view questions

1. Define gross domestic product. What is "real" GDP?
2. What do changes in real gross domestic product tell us about the economy?
3. Given the evidence in the chart, would you judge the U.S. economy to be growing at faster than, slower than, or at about the sustainable rate?
4. If the U.S. is growing faster than the long run sustainable rate, does that necessarily mean that that the Fed should raise interest rates immediately? Why or why not?

Total Nonfarm Payroll Employment 

Click to view questions

1. What do trends in payroll employment tell us about the current output gap and economic activity?
2. What might trends in payroll employment tell us about the future output gap and economic activity?