This lesson focuses on the May 1, 2013, press release by the Federal Reserve System's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on the current Federal Reserve monetary policy actions and goals, and specifically, the federal funds rate target. This lesson is intended to guide students and teachers through an analysis of the actions the Federal Reserve is taking and can take in influencing prices, employment, and economic growth. Through this lesson, students will better understand the dynamics of the U.S. economy, current economic conditions and monetary policies.
This lesson focuses on the March 28, 2013, third (final) estimate of U.S. real gross domestic product (real GDP) growth for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2012, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The current data and historical data are explained. The meaning of GDP and potential impacts of changes of GDP are explored. This lesson will also raise questions about the impact of the current level of growth on the U.S. economy and individuals.
Students learn the meaning and measurement of six important economic indicators and use the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank National Economic Trends website to assess the current state of the economy.