Project 1 Reflection S21

In this reflection you should be explaining what you learned from the experience of doing this project. There is a 750 word limit to this reflection. It should not be a reiteration of how you calculated certain values, but rather insight on both the process of calculating the statistics yourself and how they all tie together. Do not give a rundown of the topics. That would be a very bad reflection. A good reflection would try to tie a the stories together to tell a narrative. This might mean stepping away from one of the articles and just thinking about how they tie together. For those unfamiliar with reflections, I suggest looking at the description of “Gibbs Reflective Cycle”

From Monash: When reflecting on your learning (such as an educational theory you’ve learned about within a unit) you might address the following questions:

  • Description – What is the concept, idea or theory you are reflecting on?
  • Analysis – Are there aspects you found particularly interesting or challenging? Does it tie in with anything you have learned in the past? Has it changed the way you think, or affirmed something you already knew?
  • Outcomes or Action – What else might you need to find out? Do you have any questions? How might you incorporate or apply these ideas in the future, perhaps in your professional life?

68 thoughts on “Project 1 Reflection S21”

  1. For this project I decided to choose the two concepts that were the most interesting to me. I chose GDP as well as unemployment rate. More specifically, I chose the unemployment rate of January 2020 which was before the COVD-19 pandemic. I wanted to see how the pandemic can profoundly change the rate of unemployment, so therefore I chose the beginning of 2020. I mainly tried to read different articles to find how the country was anticipating the pandemic and learned about how some did not even think it would have come over to the United States. For the GDP, I chose 2018-2019 because I wanted to choose a different year than the unemployment. I did not realize how important GDP is until I read up on articles and I realized that without the GDP, the White House and Congress would not be able to create a full federal budget. I also think that these two topics might be the most important for someone with no prior economic history to know and understand. I first found the formulas needed to proceed with finding both the unemployment rate and the GDP rate. I found them by using FRED and proceeded to do the calculations. I found that by doing the research myself, watching the lecture videos more than once, and by using FRED it has helped me better understand the concepts I chose. I never knew that in the unemployment rate that you include those who are employed in the equation. I also did not know anything about GDP until I took the time to research it and find articles that supported my claim. After I found the percentages, I found CNBC and NY Times articles that backed up my research and provided me with more insight as to why it was this value based on current events that at the time were happening. By doing this project, I enjoyed taking the time to deepen my learning on these concepts because I think they are particularly important in the real world. I personally am not a huge fan of doing group work simply because I like to be on my own schedule and have things completed in a timely manner. I thought that this project was to the point and was one of the ways that you can broaden your understanding of the basics needed in macroeconomics.

  2. All the articles in our project reflect how the economy is doing this year. The pandemic certainly took a toll on not only the social aspect of society, but also hurt the economy pretty badly. As we are fighting our way out of it, rates are slowly going back to normal. For example we wrote about the unemployment rate and how it is finally decreasing after a long period of time that it was going up. The article taught me that, as the world is beginning to open up again, the economy is starting to slowly fix itself. The unemployment rate was previously rising 14.7%, but now it is decreasing 6.3%. I think this is a big deal and it shows the bigger picture of how horrible the pandemic was for the economy and job loss. During the pandemic, the GDP decreased. This is from the first to fourth quarter of 2020. Decreasing .38% in a year is not what the economy aimed for, but it is something the world is struggling with right now. This is due to all the job losses; therefore the national income being lower. This also all correlates to the amount of debt the US is in right now because of the stimulus checks being handed out. The pandemic is stealing people’s jobs and incomes, so the government has to help them out in some way. The article describes this because it points out that the US has one of the highest debt counts in the world compared to other countries. We used the debt-to-gdp ratio to show how intense the percentage is (129%) which proves how the US needs to find its way out of the hole. Lastly, we found an interesting article about inflation rate and how it may be rising due to the rising prices. The article zoomed in specifically on how imported goods are rising in price, which is why they are expecting an inflation rate increase. To find out if this is true, I headed over to the FRED website to find accurate numbers to calculate the inflation rate/GDP deflator. I noticed the number was very high at 114.37% which proves their worries correct. This all correlates back to the pandemic because it basically caused a lot of these issues. As an American during COVID-19, it is hard to watch small businesses get shut down and families lose their income due to job loss. All these factors talked about in our project prove the economy is plummeting, but that does not mean it will always stay like this. The percentage changes shown in our calculations show that anything can change over the course of a quarter year.

  3. The pandemic really affected 2020 and going into 2021’s economy. With all the articles we found, it was based on how numbers were decreasing and increasing and what they symbolized for our country. Using these sources really allowed me to get a better understanding of how the pandemic affected the country in ways I didn’t even know. I knew that people were losing their jobs because businesses were shutting down but looking at the numbers and through graphs made me concerned and topics like these should be talked more about. We learned that the unemployment rate was rising 14.7% just in the matter of these past two years. It is slowly going back down since stores are starting to open up back for business. The pandemic affected a lot of people in this country and people does not realize it until they actually see the data. What also decreased was the GDP. The article analyzed that the GDP decreased this year by .38%. This was hard for the economy and they did not know how to deal with it. The way we looked at it was looking at the numbers of 2020’s quarters. This allowed us to figure out how exactly the GDP decreased and by an exact amount. This can also correlate to the amount of debt the U.S. has to because of the pandemic now. Think about all the stimulus checks they gave out and money that was given to businesses to support them to stay open. It is hard to do this for every person and for every business. We used the formula debt-GDP ratio for use to analyze how bad the percentage is for the U.S. It was 129%! That is hard for the government to manage and they need to find a way to fix it. This pandemic really screwed up things for this country in many ways. Money is a big part of everyone’s lives and seeing that the U.S. has one of the highest debt percentages is sad to think about. The website FRED really helped us to look at these numbers in an easier way. We were able to see the inflation rate and figure out the numbers for 2020. The rate was 114.37%! That is a very high number! People have the right to be worried and feel the need to figure these things out! As a citizen living through this, it is hard to watch, and can not even imagine how people are surviving when their companies shut down and people that do not have hourly/salary pay. My parents were very lucky and were able to work from home and did not have to lose their jobs. We just have to keep moving forward and hope that everything gets better in the end.

  4. I learned a lot during this project, especially about my individual topics which were GDP and growth, and debt vs. deficit. My group decided to calculate our economic indicators over the course of a four-year span in the United States. We started from 2017 and went through 2020, the reason for this was to see the slow decline of the economy overtime, especially in 2020 due to COVID. It was interesting to use the FRED graph for the calculations, at first, I was very lost and confused on what numbers to pull, but by the end of the project I had gotten the hang of it. This project was definitely a good practice for calculating GDP. My second topic debt vs. deficit, was trickier for me to find on the FRED graphs, but I enjoyed doing external research. It was surprising to see how far in debt the country is. To me it is funny to think of how people get penalized for having individual debts, but the U.S government keeps digging a bigger whole filled with debt. By how big the numbers are I doubt how and if the country will ever get out of debt, but I know the government tries to decrease debt as much as they can. The government faced deficits every year during the four-year time span which probably contributed to the debt. Debt and deficits relate to GDP because debt and deficit are calculated in GDP. All of our topics were interconnected in some way, each topic had some type of trickle-down effect on one another. I thought it was interesting to calculate for four years rather than one, because we were able to get a better idea of the overall state of the economy. All in all, this was a cool project that caused us to apply all the formulas we learned, while using real world data, which allowed us to make connections and see how each economic indicator affected the other.

  5. The concepts that I chose were GDP and business cycles. I thought that both these topics have been heavily influenced by the recent COVID-19 pandemics. The COVID-19 19 pandemics put America in the sharpest decline of GDP since 1946. The effects have made our output fall below potential and I wanted to explore this topic. I found that the business cycle has plenty of recessions but this recession is mainly influenced by a new lethal disease that made outcomes way worse. This led to an unemployment rate that continued to rise and a GDP that fell tremendously. Coming into this project I was interested to see just how much the countries economy had actually contracted. It was interesting to see that real GDP had endured a 3.5 percent drop. By using the FRED data, I was able to find numbers that correlate with GDP to find the outcome of 3.5. The unemployment rate reached 14.7 due to the drop but has decreased to 6.3 percent. The drop in GDP is explained by the coronavirus not allowing consumers to spend copious amounts of money. I think one of the most important things I learned was about how the economy also expands. I found out that the real GDP is expected to rise 4.6 percent to pre-pandemic levels which allows us to fully see the business cycle in action. This is due to a multitude of factors one being the stimulus payments that are supposed to elicit a shock to spending and boost GDP. I think this is one of the most genius tools of the government. In my outcome, I found that for GDP to rise to pre-pandemic levels it would need a 4.6 percent expansion. Using this information, I wanted to figure out how much output would be needed to allow us to reach potential real GDP for 2021. I found that the current real GDP needed an increase of 6.6 percent this would essentially place us back to our potential. Overall, I found this project to be an intriguing challenge. I think this project widened my mind to economics and let me think of concepts in our class realistically and practically. The project also made me remember that Economics topics often work in tandem with each other and complex topics intertwine with all being part of the business cycle.

  6. The idea of inequality in US income distribution and interest rates were something I hadn’t previously known much about. While working on project one I found it challenging on what to look for and how to make certain calculations. At the same time, it was interesting to learn more about how interest rates affect people, as well as how big the inequality gap in US income is. Not only my topics, but my groupmates as well, it was interesting to see how interconnected the economy is and how certain parts influence other parts. Previously, I had thought that interest rates were something that were beneficial seeing that I only knew about the savers side. In fact, interest rates could negatively impact borrowers seeing how they would have to repay more than they took out. As I progress further into this course, I think it’ll be interesting to see how interest rates influence other aspects of adult life. An example of how I’d incorporate this into my future is when I’d have to take out a mortgage on a house, or if I were saving up for an event. Our project focused on a span of four years, from 2017 to 2020, which made it easy to correlate. By working on the same years, you can see what was happening throughout those years in different areas of the US economy.

  7. The topics my group chose all related to the economy at this current time period. The covid-19 pandemic occurring has affected our economy in many ways by affecting the topics my group talked about. While doing this project, I learned a lot more about the six topics my group chose from unit two. I acquired more knowledge and skills on all of the topics my group discussed. Especially from my two topics which were labor & unemployment and interest rates & the fed. By focusing on just two topics, it helped me understand the material better. I wanted to talk about the unemployment rate & interest rates by including articles, terms, data, and calculations. For my first topic on labor & unemployment, I found it very interesting that the unemployment rate fell to 6.3% from 6.7%. I found out that was due to people leaving the labor force which helps by decreasing the unemployment rate. Another reason it decreased was that unemployed people found jobs in January 2021. In past experiences, pandemics usually damages the economy brutally. Covid-19 affected the unemployment rate to increase, which doesn’t surprise me. In one of the new stories I used, it said that we have nearly 10 million fewer jobs which were caused by the pandemic. When I first read that, I was shocked because that is such a large number. I knew the president of the U.S. was looking for ways to strengthen the recovery, but in one of the articles, I learned that he is doing this by pressing for a $1.9 trillion relief measure by approving budget resolutions. I also find FRED very interesting, which I didn’t know about this website before I took this class. Seeing all the data from today to past years is very cool to me. Even in the future, looking back on January 2021’s data will be interesting because you could compare today’s data to the future. Before this project, I knew how to find the unemployment rate by using calculations, but it was good practice. I was very fascinated with FRED by finding and using the data to get my calculation instead of made-up scenarios in a question. The unemployment rate has changed my way of thinking because if you think about it, it affects everybody. The unemployment rate impacts the broader economy, not just the jobless people. For my second topic, interest rates & the fed, I found it more challenging. At first, I was confused with how I would use calculations because the interest rate is already given. But then I thought of using future value to see what my value will be in a certain number of years if I wanted to buy $1000 of the treasury bonds at the current interest rate (1.20%). I didn’t know much about interest rates since that was one of my weaker topics. I chose this topic, so I could have a better understanding. It was fascinating that the 10-Year Treasury Yield rose and has more than doubled since the historic low in August 2020. Also, how the interest rate today has been the highest since March 2020. When I was reading articles, I learned new terms: positive convexity (when interest falls, the price of the bond will rise at an increasing rate) and negative convexity (when interest rates increase, the mortgage decreases in price). I didn’t know much about homeowners and mortgages, but I found it interesting how when interest rate rises, homeowners have less incentive to re-finance their mortgages. That piece of information I learned, will be very helpful in the future when I’m ready to own a home. Overall, I learned a significant amount of new information by delving deeper into these certain topics. I’m glad I did this project because it made me feel more comfortable on unit 2. It was also interesting to seeing the impact covid-19 did on our economy by causing these problems to all of our topics we covered.

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    The topic I am reflecting on is GDP Growth and Interest Rates. I found it interesting that with the pandemic and everything happening in America, the interest rates have gone down a lot. I found that finding the change in GDP and its growth was also interesting because as much as it had dropped during this pandemic, each quarter is increasing slowly back to what is was before the pandemic. I knew that Covid-19 has had such an impact on the U.S. and around the world, but after looking at the statistics of the topics I addressed, as well as the other people in my group’s topics, it showed how much the pandemic has impacted the U.S. What I would like to still find out is what will happen as our country continues to slowly open back up, or if we go back into a lockdown. I don’t have any questions right now, I would like to see the statistics for the future months of 2021 to see how our nation is coping with this new reality and trying to go back to normal. Depending on the job, I would have to calculate the GDP growth of countries, but for interest rates, I can use what I have learned for many different things in my future, such as a loan, any payments I might have, or potentially use it for my job.

  9. I mainly worked on the inequality and GDP/Growth sections of our website. To explore inequality, I looked at an article called “Trends in U.S. income and wealth inequality” written in early 2020. I chose this article because I wanted a view of the trends before the coronavirus pandemic had a huge impact on inequality. The article said that among G7 countries, the US has the highest Gini coefficient of gross income inequality, with it being 0.434 in 2017. It was difficult to find a breakdown of income distribution for my primary source, and there was a lot of trial and error to find the correct set to match the article, but I eventually found it from the US Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. I used the Gini calculation sheet from Dr. Neveu’s website to plug in the 2017 numbers. I also calculated the Gini coefficient in the US in 1968 to see how inequality has grown over time, and it turned out to be 0.329. I have seen a lot of news articles that say inequality is growing in the US, but it was cool to see and calculate for myself that income inequality has increased in the past 50 years by so much. Something I would like to explore in the future would be the exact causes of increase income inequality. I also wonder what the difference is between the US and other G7 countries, and why the US has such a high Gini coefficient. This would lead to research about how to mitigate the growth of income inequality in the US, including possible policy actions.
    For the GDP and Growth section, I wanted to look at an article from the UK as well as from the US to explore how the coronavirus has affected economies outside of the US who had different approaches to easing the effects of the pandemic. I calculated the percent change in GDP for various periods of time for each country. I enjoyed exploring the UK’s statistics website and seeing how theirs compared to the US’s FRED website. One challenge for both primary sources was the use of unfamiliar units for GDP. The UK statistics were in monthly index values for monthly gross domestic product, and the US statistics were in billions of chained US dollars. I had to do some extra research to confirm that I was looking at the correct information and my research was relevant to the real world. I discovered that both countries experienced serious economic downturn from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020, which is most likely a direct impact of the coronavirus pandemic. My findings have helped me realize that no matter how well or how poorly you handle a pandemic, there can still be negative economic ramifications. In the future, I would like to explore some strategies for countries to maintain economic output in the faces of crises.

  10. This project has taught me many things and has changed my point of view about how I use to think about them. One of the most important that I would like to mention is how all these topics work together as a whole economy. The collaboration of these topics with each other is the most important part of the economy. It was also similar for a group as well. For us being able to put every piece together required a very productive collaboration, critical thinking, and a tremendous amount of research. In Economics the business cycle- fluctuations affect the real GDP. Sometimes more and sometimes less. It causes recessions, which are the worst for the system. Recession causes unemployment to rise. We are living in a current recession which is going toward an expansion. During the Pandemic, millions of people lost their jobs. Employers had to shut down their businesses because of being not able to pay their workers. This caused a decline in production. Then Inflation plays its role, prices went up because of higher production costs. All of these parts play an important role and have its effect on the other parts. Further in the project, I had many ups and downs. Firstly, the most difficult thing was for me to understand FRED and its settings. It was a huge setback for me. The articles I have used in the project gave me a really good understanding of each concept and they provided me the essential data for the calculations, and I used FRED to show that period of time of economy. Other members of the group have also provided their calculations and graphs. In addition, one of our group’s topics is the interest rate and the Fed. This pandemic has also affected the banks very severely. When the businesses shut down, the banks were unable to loan out money to people. We do know that banks make by giving out loans with interests. And unemployed people were also unable to make their mortgage payments. It caused a huge decline in the banks’ profits. Equality and inequality in our economic system also connect here, where the poor were struggling with the higher cost of living and the wealthy were barely being affected. The great economic system requires all of its factors needs be balanced and working accordingly.

    Bilal Asif

  11. While doing project 1, I realized a few things. The first being that I had no idea how to use FRED and the second being that once I learned, FRED can be a very useful tool to measure all sorts of things. For me, specifically, I used it to measure inflation (general rise in the cost of living), Real GDP (an adjusted measure of the goods and services produced by our economy), and unemployment (percent of the population not able to find a job). While searching the internet for different articles pertaining to my topics, I found out how all those things can affect our daily lives. For starters, inflation is probably the most common/well-known one and many stories went a little in-depth about certain goods categories going up in price. The articles I chose for inflation mainly had to do with the before and after 2020. This helped me realize the economic damage that Covid-19 had done and also how we have bounced back close to normalcy. For my research on unemployment, I had a pretty strong understanding of how it was calculated prior to doing this project. However, I did not realize how much the change can affect the GDP. Specifically, the real GDP and what that entails such as serving as an indicator for business cycles. One of the articles I chose pertained to business cycles and used the drop in GDP as an indicator for a recession and another story used a rise in GDP as an indicator for an expansion that ended up lasting for approximately a decade. Just reading and learning these few things have opened my mind a little about how everything works together and can be used as predictions and overall knowledge of our economy. There are many ways and perspectives to take when talking about the economy, but these are just a few and I look forward to learning new and different things to help better my future financially.

  12. For the project, I chose to focus on Real GDP and economic inequality. Although I knew that aspects of economic were interconnected, I had no idea the true extent of said interconnectedness. One thing I found particularly interesting was the fact that Atlanta has the highest Gini coefficient out of all the big cities in the United States. Being from Atlanta, it definitely threw me because I thought it would be a bigger city like New York or Miami. In terms of other things that stood out, the rapid increase in unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic stood out most to me. Although I knew that the unemployment rate has increased a lot during COVID, I didn’t realize how much. I saw the same thing when looking at real GDP. I knew that there was a relationship between GDP and unemployment, yet I never thought much of unemployment’s effects on GDP. Going forward, I hope to be more mindful of GDP and the effects it can have on unemployment and vice versa instead of buzzing past the headlines and actually think what that means for people.

  13. All the articles we used in our project reflect how the economy is doing comparing things from 2019-2021 and focusing a lot in 2020. The pandemic has certainly taken a toll on not only the social aspect of society, but our overall economy. Overall, we looked at budget deficits, unemployment rates, inflation, and interest rates. I decided to choose the two concepts of looking at budget deficits and interest rates. I chose these because the coronavirus pandemic is affecting these greatly. I wanted to look how the covid pandemic is affecting budgets in our government in the US and found the projected budget will rise due to spending which is all related to the coronavirus because there was a lot of funding needed. Also, since unemployment was at all time high from people being out of work from the pandemic, the federal budget deficit reached 3.3 trillion. The government needs to be paying these people out of work which is a lot of spending. We also looked at the unemployment rate in 2020 because of the covid pandemic and found that 3.74% was the unemployment rate for 2020. For this we chose to look at the rate of change in US debt from 2019 to 2020. We decided to take the GDP from 2019 which was 22.8 trillion and put that into equation with the GDP of 2020 which was 26.9 trillion. We then found the US debt increased 17.98% in 2020. Looking at interest rates of 2021 people are afraid that the that the interest rate would rise. As of 2021 the FOMC agreed to keep a keep us steady rate between 0% and 0.25%. They also don’t want to have inflation rise a lot and have prices rise high when people aren’t even getting proper income. Overall, all these factors show the economy is falling steadily over the covid pandemic. The calculations found shows many percentages of changes happening.

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    Our project and the articles we found all reflected on the economy and how it’s been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We learned that all eight of the major topics covered in chapter 2 are somewhat intertwined with each other. I was really interested in how the unemployment rate affected the inflation rate. In April 2020 due to Covid, the unemployment rate was at an all-time high We found Inversely throughout 2020 the average rate of inflation was pretty low. It was crazy to see in real-time and in real life how this affected mainly to gas and food prices nationally. After experiencing the pandemic I noticed some of my research has been linked to some of my real-life experiences. During the start of the pandemic when the majority of Americans lost their jobs gas prices went down drastically. Now, gas prices have almost jumped a whole dollar more for each gallon. Also, I experienced inflation first hand while working at a restaurant in September when unemployment was starting to get the prices of meat rose about 6%. Causing the restaurant I worked at having to raise their menu prices. And it’s not only inflation that is affected by unemployment. Emily also witnessed the national debt and interest rate increasing. After researching and finding numbers we ultimately found that the 8 big picture topics covered in macroeconomics are all affected by each other whether it being negatively or positively and even though we only dove deep into four of the key topics while reading articles we saw the other four topics mentioned within one another.

  15. Our project and the articles we found all reflected on the economy and how it’s been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We learned that all eight of the major topics covered in chapter 2 are somewhat intertwined with each other. I was really interested in how the unemployment rate affected the inflation rate. In April 2020 due to Covid, the unemployment rate was at an all-time high We found Inversely throughout 2020 the average rate of inflation was pretty low. It was crazy to see in real-time and in real life how this affected mainly to gas and food prices nationally. After experiencing the pandemic I noticed some of my research has been linked to some of my real-life experiences. During the start of the pandemic when the majority of Americans lost their jobs gas prices went down drastically. Now, gas prices have almost jumped a whole dollar more for each gallon. Also, I experienced inflation first hand while working at a restaurant in September when unemployment was starting to get the prices of meat rose about 6%. Causing the restaurant I worked at having to raise their menu prices. And it’s not only inflation that is affected by unemployment. Emily also witnessed the national debt and interest rate increasing. After researching and finding numbers we ultimately found that the 8 big picture topics covered in macroeconomics are all affected by each other whether it being negatively or positively and even though we only dove deep into four of the key topics while reading articles we saw the other four topics mentioned within one another.

  16. For this project, I chose the two topics of Business Cycles and Inflation and Prices. I chose these two topics because they seem to be the prevalent topics in our country’s economic state. Currently, the United States has been in a continuous recovery period since 2009 from the Great Recession I used this information to explain the different cycles within a growth period. The textbook figures helped to visually explain the phases of the business cycle, so I added those into our google site. Additionally, I annotated how either fiscal or monetary policies can affect business cycles. For inflation and prices, I used a gallon of milk to very basically explain the concepts. I wrote out the prices of milk of 2020 and 2021, then solved the rate of change for the inflation rate. I used a line graph from the Fred site to show the continuous change of inflation and deflation. The article I used from Market Watch stated that the food costs are still inflating for 2021; with an expected increase to 3% rate. I think it is interesting to see how much food is affected by inflation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. I did enjoy researching and analyzing these topics from module 2. It helped me become more aware of our economy and further my understanding of this course.

  17. For my parts of project 1, I chose to show how Covid has affected both the unemployment rate and the required reserve rations in the Fed. Due to the fact that Covid has altered almost every aspect of our lives, I wanted to discover what it has done to our unemployment rate. I obviously knew it would have increased, but by how much and for how long? I was shocked to read that the unemployment rate during the first few months of Covid was worse than the Great Recession. That statistic blew my mind, and it really made me realize the direct impact Covid has had on our jobs and families. I did watch the news on how Covid affected jobs, but doing the research and calculations myself forced me to authentically understand the severity of the Covid pandemic. That is also why I chose to research the required reserves ratio in the Federal Reserve. Covid has forced them to change the required reserve ratio to 0%. This helped commercial banks use more of its money for its customers who needed fast cash instead of keeping it in the reserve. Moves like this do not happen often, and it takes things as drastic as a pandemic to force them into action. This project really helped me see behind the curtain of what the Covid pandemic has done.

  18. For this project, I focused on the topics of GDP growth and interest rates. The things I found that were interesting about GDP growth was how much the pandemic has had on it. I compared the GDP of Q4 in 2019 and Q4 in 2020, and as it is only down by about 1% the downfall of it throughout 2020 surprised me. Similar aspect to interest rates, I thought it was interesting how much the statistics had decrease over the course of 2020. I kind of already understood the different factors that goes into calculating GDP and interest rates, however, I learned how much the rates can changed from the pandemic and what the U.S. has experienced this past year. There is one thing I would like to find out from the GDP and interest rates and that is what will happen in the future as the U.S. and the world continues to handle this pandemic. I want to see if the interest rates will stay low like the Fed had stated in the article I used in my project. After completing my project, I realized how much people use this information in their jobs in order to calculate what they will be spending or receiving from interest rates and how in some jobs, professionals use GDP statistics and its growth for their companies.

  19. For this project I decided to do unemployment rate and inflation rate since these two things interested me, especially in the time around April 2020 when the pandemic hit. I was curious in learning how badly the country was affected. I remember when it happened the gas prices were very low and I was constantly hearing about businesses closing and people losing their jobs so it was interesting to dive deeper in and learn more about it. The graph provided by the labor force website for unemployment rate was interesting since you could see on the graph which groups/sex/ages of people were affected the most. I also now realize how easy it is to use websites like FRED and labor force to educate myself on topics that can benefit me to know about. I also thought it was interesting to get a better understanding of the inverse relationship that inflation and unemployment have. I feel sometimes people don’t have a good understanding on that, but high levels of unemployment (like in April 2020) correlate with a low inflation rate. Besides that, I thought this project helped me get a better understanding of these topics and why one affects the other. As someone who watched many families lose their business, and never focused on the economic aspect, It felt nice to educate myself on how hard this country got hurt by COVID-19.

  20. While researching this project,I decided to showcase how the COVID-19 epidemic has greatly affected our economy. The topics I selected were “How debt affected the US’s economy and it’s citizens” and “Interest rates and the Fed”. While researching these topics I was shocked to see just how much we have been greatly affected by this virus. As a result of travel bans, large events and quarantine protocols many US businesses have had to borrow money to stay afloat. Because of this the US debt has reached an astounding 27 trillion dollars. Because of so many people borrowing money and financial hardships the interest rates have plummeted, the Fed has lowered rates to near zero according to These rates were at 1.5 percent in 2019 and are unlikely to rise again until 2024. This project displayed just how much this virus has changed the world and how far away we are from normal life. Over the summer I was lucky enough to work at Bank Of America and while I saw a few of the financial difficulties some customers were facing I was shocked to learn the full extent of how bad our situation is. I believe in order to understand this problem, I need to further study the Fed and learn about how interest rates are normally set and what decision making process they used to combat the virus. My biggest question is I’m sure a lot of people’s question, how do we get the interest rates back to help creditors while not killing small businesses and keeping people financially stable. In my professional life I feel that learning about debt will help me. My dream is to own my own business and learning about debt showed me the pitfalls of taking too much and the right interest rates to pursue while taking out a loan.

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    I learned a lot during this project, especially about my individual topics which were GDP and growth, and debt vs. deficit. My group decided to calculate our economic indicators over the course of a four-year span in the United States. We started from 2017 and went through 2020, the reason for this was to see the slow decline of the economy overtime, especially in 2020 due to COVID. It was interesting to use the FRED graph for the calculations, at first, I was very lost and confused on what numbers to pull, but by the end of the project I had gotten the hang of it. This project was definitely a good practice for calculating GDP. My second topic debt vs. deficit, was trickier for me to find on the FRED graphs, but I enjoyed doing external research. It was surprising to see how far in debt the country is. To me it is funny to think of how people get penalized for having individual debts, but the U.S government keeps digging a bigger whole filled with debt. By how big the numbers are I doubt how and if the country will ever get out of debt, but I know the government tries to decrease debt as much as they can. The government faced deficits every year during the four-year time span which probably contributed to the debt. Debt and deficits relate to GDP because debt and deficit are calculated in GDP. All of our topics were interconnected in some way, each topic had some type of trickle-down effect on one another. I thought it was interesting to calculate for four years rather than one, because we were able to get a better idea of the overall state of the economy. All in all, this was a cool project that caused us to apply all the formulas we learned, while using real world data, which allowed us to make connections and see how each economic indicator affected the other.

  22. For this project, the two topics that I decided to research more about within my group, and the ones that I was most curious about were Inflation rate and prices, as well as unemployment rate. For this project, my group and I decided to base most of our topics around the effect of the coronavirus on the economy as a whole, and we wanted to research more about how the pandemic negatively, or positively/neutrally, impacted not only the economy, but everything that goes into it. I was very curious in how the loss of jobs from the pandemic, as well as the struggle for many businesses to stay open would have affect on different individuals, and what this would actually look like in numbers. To start with the topic of unemployment rate, I mainly focused on the unemployment rate from before the start of the pandemic in 2020, to where we are at currently in 2021. The fact that the unemployment rate was nearly above 14% in the beginning of 2020, and dropped to a 6.3% in February of this year, is honestly crazy to me. As for the inflation rate, most of the research that I did has shown that the inflation rate has continued to show an increase over the years, and in one of the articles that I looked at, it suggests that the inflation rate will increase in the following months, and years if the upward trend continues. I was also curious about the inflation rate, especially since one of the articles I included in the topic suggested that the inflation rate wasn’t accurately representing the correct numbers, and that the rate could be possibly higher than what is showing. Based on this, it explains that the increase in prices and inflation has an affect on consumers. This for me was very interesting, as I didn’t fully process that inflation and prices could effect the way consumers choose to shop and go about spending their money. In our group’s data, there is a strong conclusion, and no doubt, that the pandemic has for sure had one of the biggest and most historical impacts on America’s economy, and the data reflects this. Our economy will continue to try and bounce back from this harsh time of recovering from the pandemic, however we have to realize that it is something that can be fixed, at least as the patterns are being shown statistically. In all honesty, this project really helped me develop a sense for what the effect of the pandemic really did to the economy. Of course, I had some kind of idea of what we as a country were and are going through economically, but until I actually did research, and calculated the data myself, as well as see the data and outcome of different topics throughout my group, I wasn’t able to fully see that impact that it had on everyone from small businesses and families not only in the U.S., but around the world as a whole.

  23. This project has been pretty eye-opening, as I personally have never taken an economics or financial course. I worked mainly on the GDP and growth and Inflation sections of my project, and it was fascinating to see how current events have affected these numbers and their changes. While reading articles about GDP and its rise and fall during the COVID pandemic, I found it especially interesting how news articles would record the GDP numbers as annualized even though they report them quarter to quarter. This annualized number was always much higher or lower than the month to month, leading to what looks much better or worse. While the calculations are correct and are useful to know, it felt almost misleading, especially to someone who didn’t know there was a completely different formula for the annualized calculation. Going hand in hand, articles about inflation rates also seemed just as disingenuous. The articles I read seemed to pick points at random to compare to the current inflation rate based on the Consumer Price Index, the supposed basket of goods whose price changes help measure inflation. Some did calculations based on year to year and some month to month, and again while all the calculations were correct, it seems there could be a better way to represent this data. The debt and deficit portion were a lot more enjoyable after getting a better understanding of all the GDP calculations. It was also nice that I finally learned that debt and deficit are not interchangeable words, deficit being the total debt – total GDP. It’s interesting to see how almost all the numbers we looked at were affected negatively by COVID except for the total public debt and the unemployment rate. The labor and unemployment section was the least interesting for me and is why I am putting this last. I feel I already had a good concept of how the unemployment rate was calculated. However, I didn’t know about the different unemployment types and what kind of workers each group contained. Again I found the relationship between GDP growth and decline and the unemployment rate decline and growth interesting. It really goes to show how interconnected everything is.

  24. For project one I chose unemployment as well as inflation as my main two topics of analysis. This is because both of these things are correlated pretty tightly as well as being personally interesting to me. I found it particularly interesting just how severe the 2020 unemployment spike truly was for the labor force. Another thing of note that popped out when comparing the two pieces of data I personally analyzed is the negative correlation between the inflation rate in the last half year and unemployment rate. With the drastic increase of unemployment due to COVID-19 economic restrictions, there has been a, much less drastic but, noticeable downturn in CPI value. I found it extremely challenging to find the basket values of CPI base year and current year, there is always a chance that I missed something but I did a decently depthful and lengthy search of the BLS CPI index and the World Bank’s publications for the respective years. One of the questions that arises personally for me is if there is a balance between CPI value and unemployment that could be generally acceptable? Another question that arises is what will post COVID recovery and corrections look for both the CPI and Unemployment numbers we are currently seeing; will unemployment have an overcorrection as a stock would? The same for CPI?

  25. In our portfolio, we all picked the topics most appealing to us but still helped each other better our portions. In this portfolio I studied interest rates and the deficit. While we might have touched on the deficit, we went in depth with interest rates, so I was able to have solid understanding of the topic before analyzing a new source that included the topic.
    I was challenged when it came to the other half of the interest rates page because I knew I wanted to analyze a topic that uses interest rates but also look at the bigger picture. Thus, I began to research the effect of interest rates on mortgages. As I was looking at the changes in mortgage interest rates, my dad explained how when he bought our house, the interest rate was around 8.5%. After looking at FRED, I realized the average rate for a 30-year mortgage was between 7.0% – 9.25% in 1994. While I was researching for this portfolio, I realized that interest rates are at record lows which should be a good thing because millions of Americans were out of work due to the pandemic and that loss of income could hinder spending habits and slow economic progression. With interest rates low, people are more likely to spend more and/or more often which benefits banks and causes them to lend more.
    I was interested about learning more about the federal deficit and how it effects the country. If you ask anyone, they know the United States is in debt but may not know by how much. I learned that the nation’s debt is actually the accumulation of deficits plus other expenditures minus surpluses. The deficit is described as “the annual difference between what the government spends and what it generates (tax revenues).” Upon researching, this affirmed my nervous feelings about living with the growing deficit.
    For both the deficit as part of GDP and the interest rates I calculated the percentage point increase or decrease instead of using the percent change formula. I chose not to use the percent change formula because then I would be taking the percent change of a percent which can be very misleading to people. Instead I would subtract the new percent value from the old value to show the increase or decrease in percentage points.
    Moving forward, I will be interested in continuing to follow the unemployment rate, the federal deficit, and interest rate trends. These rates are prominent in news today and can affect my life in the future. Throughout the development of this portfolio I kept wondering how the nation as a whole would correct the federal deficit while also keeping interest rates low. However, neither party platform has a solid economic plan for the future of the country that can incorporate and benefit all aspects of concern. I can apply these ideas to my professional life because the deficit of the company I may work for can cause the company to shut down. The unemployment rate may be affected by outside factors like diseases, elections, etc. but is good to know incase I lose my job for outside reasons. Interest rates are always important to understand and keep up with in case you want to buy a home, a car, etc.

  26. For this project, I focused on GDP and business cycle. Therefore, I can know with authority what is going on in the economy over this special period. Real GDP decreased rounded 3.5% between 2019 to 2020, what factors effected GDP decrease? As we know, GDP is total sum of is the standard measure of the value added created through the production of goods and services in a country during a certain period. As such, it also measures the income earned from that production, or the total amount spent on final goods and services (less imports). Due to Covid-19 happened at 2019s, the government forces people out of works and stay home, it caused unemployed rate increasing, but it is a short run. When unemployed rate increase, factory’s’ output would be decreased. At Quarter 2 of 2020 of GDP started increasing, but the epidemic situation still not stopped. Why does GDP increase during Covid-19? I find two reasons, one is that the government is not totally forced factory and service business (restaurant, theater) to shut down, and there is another reason, most of works have been suspended, they lost their source of income. Thus, the government doled out help fund to every citizen. Citizens can use the money to buy what they need, but total output at the special time is less than at normal. Therefore, people spend more money to buy less goods than before. Using a professional term’ “inflation”, In the future, when epidemic situation ended, the workers will get back to their jobs. All of factories will increase their output. So, the GDP will increase back to 2019s’ GDP peak and keeping increase. Production efficiency is an important key for GDP increasing, when production efficiency increasing causing unemployment rate decrease. When people get back their job, so they get source of income. They can afford goods what they need and replay their own credit and loan. Interest rate will be increase, reducing the need for credit.

  27. Project 1 Reflection

    My group chose to focus on issues that are relevant to our peers — college students living through a pandemic. To get through to this target audience, we looked at things such as how the pandemic has affected the economy and how the cost of a four-year education has drastically increased over time.

    It’s impossible to ignore the impacts of COVID-19 on our economy. The pandemic has decreased GDP, decreased employment, increased debt and deficit, exacerbated the issue of economic inequality, and impacted firms’ long-run and short-run response to new COVID-related issues.

    My group of three took on all eight topics covered thus far with the hope that exploring every topic would strengthen and expand our knowledge of the course material, prepare us for future exams, and develop our skills as budding economists.

    I focused on GDP, inflation, debt, and deficit.

    Many predictions have been made about how the COVID-19 pandemic would affect GDP. For our project, I picked one of many articles predicting how GDP would be affected by the pandemic (at the start of 2020) and compared this prediction to the reality. I solved for GDP by plugging values from the FRED website into the formula we learned in class. I found that GDP actually increased from Q1 to Q2, disproving the article’s predictions. A possible explanation for this increase in GDP from Q1 to Q2 would be that immediately after the pandemic was recognized as a serious issue in the US, people started to invest more of their money to take advantage of fallen stock prices. I for one chose to invest for the first time in my life when the pandemic was becoming a big concern in the US, rightfully assuming that putting my money into travel industries while they were down would yield major gains when these industries recovered from the recession.

    Debt and deficit was one of my easier topics to make a calculation for. To calculate debt, you simply subtract your liabilities and money spent from your assets and income obtained. To calculate the deficit, you take the difference between total revenue and total spending. Before researching debt and deficit, I was unsure about the difference between the two. I now understand that debt is the total amount of money that the government owes, and is made up of all of the government’s past deficits considered accumulatively (minus surpluses). A deficit is the difference between what the US government takes in from revenues (like taxes) and its expenses.

    One aspect of our research that I found particularly interesting was the article about the rapidly increasing cost of four-year institutions. As a college student with firsthand knowledge of the high expenses of tuition and room and board, it was somewhat disheartening to read about the average cost of four-year institutions doubling and then even more disheartening to confirm these figures. This frightening reality that the cost of education has and will continue to rise has encouraged me to pursue solutions to the serious problem of rising education costs. I hope that majoring in business management will help me build the skills necessary to think like an economist and consider these types of multifaceted national issues.

    This project was a good opportunity for me to practice researching and interpreting data. These are skills that will help me throughout the rest of my years at JMU and in any future career I pursue.

  28. In reading both the articles and relating them back to the Gross Domestic Product level in the United States over the course of the Coronavirus Pandemic, I have learned that not only was 2020 the worst year for economic growth in the U.S. and that the debt as a percentage of GDP was the highest recorded in history. These 2 subjects are directly related in that the major drop in GDP from 2019 to 2020 causes the percentage of debt in relation to GDP to be much higher. In doing the calculations I found the actual National Debt and the percentage change from 2019 to 2020. However, in doing this, I realized that this sort of statistic is rather irrelevant seeing as when GDP drops, the percentage of debt vs. GDP would increase.
    The part of this that I found to be the most interesting comes when examining the graphs of the national debt. In Q2, the GDP dropped rapidly, and the national debt increased in order to help business stay afloat. The government did everything they could to help these businesses even it meant increasing the national debt. By saying that the national debt as a percentage of GDP was the highest in history (although true), is not an entirely accurate statement. Because the GDP dropped as much as it did in the short amount of time, you are comparing the trough of one graph and the peak of another. While the national debt was at an all-time high and the GDP at the lowest level in 4 years, the percentage is going to be very high. That is why my second article was about finding the percentage change in GDP over the course of first 2 quarters of 2020, to see how much the GDP really changed.
    Doing these calculations has changed the way that I will analyze different economic news. Using calculations like this will help me determine the state of the economy without any sort of media bias and provide the actual facts instead of a fake statistic. This will ensure that I am always getting the correct economic news rather than a statistic that is of no relevance to the economy.
    After completing these calculations, I am interested in how the national debt has changed throughout the pandemic. We saw a 10% decrease in GDP from 2019 to 2020 and I would like to know how the national debt percentage change adds up to this. I assume that this rose sharply however calculations need to be done in order to determine this. These types of calculations will interpret directly into my career as a front office worker for a professional sports team. Teams work all year long in order to determine salaries of players and how the salary cap will change for the next year. With salary cap being based off of the amount of money made by the owners and the league, these calculations can help give a rough estimate and help teams plan for the future.

  29. This project made me do some consideration on where data comes from in news articles, and how news articles are written in order to give information simply to the reader. It made me think more about all the calculations that occur behind the scenes, whether they be from the writer or from a primary source which is referenced. Looking over the presentation at the end made me think about how these four topics all work and weave together in the economy. The topics I covered were “Inflation & Prices” and “Debt vs. Deficit”, while my partner Randy covered topics “Labor & Unemployment” and “GDP & Growth”. Inflation is a concept which is put into a new perspective during the pandemic, with increased consumer spending and stimulus checks being a factor added in. I also learned more about how inflation and the concept of “supply and demand” correlate. I always thought inflation was only about how there is a certain amount of the units of currency available, which is why the dollar is worth as much as it is, yet the idea of supply and demand plays a factor as well because of the drive of the want of goods and services. I only always thought of inflation in terms of the worth of the dollar, but never really the price of goods and products. The second topic I covered was “Debt vs. Deficit”. It was interesting to look at the deficit and debt rise through the years, and to look at the factors in which do so. Once again due to the pandemic, COVID relief was a large reason for the rise of some of these factors. This was more apparent now because the article I chose to write about was called “U.S. budget deficit breached $3.1 trillion in 2020 as pandemic slammed economy”. Something I found interesting was that despite an increase in deficit (2020’s), which was three times 2019s, there has been a demand for more government spending. The next two topics were “Labor & Unemployment” and “GDP & Growth”. Although I didn’t work on these topics of the project because of the division of labor, I once again analyzed how COVID-19 affected this. Unemployment has both grown, and is predicted to remain above what it was in 2019. “GDP & Growth” is once again in decline. In the pandemic and seeing the graphs from FRED, which range throughout the years, it was eye-opening to see the trends during the pandemic that is currently going on.

  30. For project 1, my group decided to choose our topics, articles, and calculations based around the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the US economy. The topics I focused on were “GDP and Growth” and “Debt v. Deficit”. Looking at the real GDP in 2020 there was a large drop in the amount of products that the United State was producing in the second quarter. We then see this increase again quarter 3. Adversely, there is a decline in the amount of government spending in quarter 3 from quarter 2 that leads to the debt-to-gdp ratio to become lower, while still being extremely high. Due to the pandemic, in quarter 2 (the period of April-June) there was a large amount of government funding going to small businesses and the American citizens. This is the same for GDP in the United States, with no one being able to work or keep their business afloat there is less output of products. After researching both of these topics I discovered how truly important an open and running economy is to the health of our country. I am conflicted with this knowledge as I feel that the shutdown was in the best interest of keeping people safe. Also, I was able to finally understand how drastically the economy was affected from the fluctuations we saw throughout 2020. Before learning this, I thought that the economy was fairly stable but looking at all of the data from such a tumultuous year, it is extremely subject to change. It was also interesting to find out how different aspects of the economy can have an impact on each other. For example, with the COVID-19 pandemic the government shutdown led to businesses being closed, this caused for less output and a lower GDP. We also see how businesses needing to close led to an increase in the unemployment rate. Adding to that, with more people being unemployed there is a larger need for government stimulus, hence there being a larger percentage of debt included in the GDP. Everything affects each other in a way that I didn’t even think about. Another thing I learned while doing this project is how valuable of a tool FRED is for seeking information. The graphs are extremely easy to read and really allow for you to obtain any sort of economic information. This kind of information is probably something I will continue to pay attention to, as it really is a tell-all for how the country (and others) are doing economically. I also want to dive deeper into these sorts of topics to think about how maybe more minor things can cause fluctuations in the GDP, debt, and as well as unemployment. Whether that be related to government policy, housing crises, or other sorts of factors. Overall, I found this project super useful in boosting my own understanding, as well as my interest in the US economy.

  31. I have learned so many new things and enjoyed researching about the topics I chose. My projects were government debt and the inflation rate focused in the United States. As I did my research for the government debt, I learned two new words; deficit and surplus. A deficit is when government spending exceeds tax revenues and a surplus is the opposite of that. I also learned that in order for a government to be in debt, you have to subtract the tax revenues from the government spending to find the deficit and the debt increases by the amount of the deficit. Looking at the graphs from the FRED website or the Bureau of Labor Statistics, I noticed that the United States economy has mostly witnessed a deficit. It was only between 2000-2007 when there was a surplus.
    I think the toughest part of this project was the inflation rates because of the calculations. Looking at the FRED website, I noticed a huge decline in the inflation rate around March 2020, which is around the time when the pandemic started. When inflation decreases it typically means that prices will increase at a slower rate.
    I am happy that I chose my topics, especially debt, because now I have a better understanding of why the United States is in debt and the difference between deficit and surplus. I enjoyed doing this project as it has taught me so many interesting things about my topics.

  32. For my portion of this project, I calculated the percent change in gross domestic product from the fourth quarter of 2019 to 2020 in chained 2012 US dollars. I was not surprised that the real gross domestic product fell about two and a half percent. I was however surprised at the discrepancy between the percent change in federal government spending between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the 4th quarter of 2020 and the state/local government spending between these same two quarters. The federal government’s consumption increased by approximately two and a half percent in Q4 of 2020 while the state/local government fell by about the same magnitude in percentage points; this suggests that the federal government might have contributed more money to COVID 19 relief than state/local governments. Additionally, I found that exports decreased by a much larger percentage than imports did between the fourth quarter of 2019 and 2020. Overall trade (imports + exports) decreased by a staggering 5% from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020. I also found that unemployment almost doubled from January of 2020 to November of the same year. This likely reflects the economic stagnation originating from the pandemic. This analysis left me wondering how other countries’ overall trade changed over the course of the pandemic. Did any increase? Did the United States decrease by more than average? I also am curious how the GDP will recover as the world moves towards higher immunity rates. Will it stagger behind immunity or simultaneously increase?

  33. Through the research and calculations we did for each of our topics, I realized how interconnected each part of the economy is. Prior to starting this class, the cause-and-effect aspect of macroeconomics is what I was most interested in learning about. This aspect was evident throughout the research we did on each topic. Several of the articles we looked at focused on economic indicators throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It was interesting to see how indicators such as GDP, unemployment, and debt all trended in the same way simultaneously. After looking at these numbers and the way the U.S. economy has recovered so far, I am curious to see how the recovery from this recession will look both in the short-term future and the long-term future. One of the most interesting measures to research was debt and deficit. Prior to this class and this project, I did not know much about the national debt except for the fact that the U.S. had a lot of it. Because debt is such a significant issue on a household and business level, it was always difficult to understand why there seemed to be so much less concern surrounding the federal debt. After reading multiple articles, it seems like economists have mixed opinions on the subject of debt. Some believed it was a serious problem while others believed it was less urgent. There were multiple different reasonings behind each of these opinions, but the general conclusion was that the current state of debt accumulation is not sustainable, and it is a long-term problem that younger generations will have to deal with. Overall, this project has helped me to gain a better understanding of each of these topics. Seeing how each of these measures work in the real world is very helpful to understand and remember what they mean and how they work. Moving forward, I can use my knowledge of these topics to form my own opinions on the economy and economic policies.

  34. For this project, I wanted to look at the relationship between our unemployment rate and debt to GDP ratio. It was interesting to see that through January of 2021, the unemployment rate has dipped, while in comparison, our national debt is still likely to rise. According to a report by the National Jobs for all Network, the unemployment rate used to be a decent indicator for what our deficit may look like in that year. However, with our increased government spending over the past two decades, the deficit has begun to follow a downward spiral, and is no longer a meaningful indicator or predictor. From the 1970 to 1980, our debt to GDP ratio was unimaginably low for today’s standards, and remained fairly stagnant throughout the decade. However, since 2010, the ratio is constantly increasing at an increased rate, which will eventually, if it has not already, result in our debt to GDP ratio being detrimental for decades and even generations to come. It was also interesting to see how the real GDP of the United States has decreased by over three percent within the past year. Obviously this is not anything to celebrate, but there is a silver lining when looking at the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is still high at 6.3 percent, but not nearly as high as in April of 2020 and has decreased since then. This shows that our GDP may be positively affected as a result and our GDP may be saved from any catastrophic effects of a deteriorated market. When doing this project, it was interesting to see how these complex numbers and values with respect to our national circulation of money are all related, and can easily be used as indicators towards another. If I were to look into this topic a second time, I would be interested in seeing these numbers on a per capita basis where each value is divided by our population and see what sort of trends there are.

  35. In doing this project, I realized how many aspects of the economy are intertwined with each other, especially within our Unit 2 of materials. The two topics that I chose to go into depth on was that of inequality & equity along side Long run vs. short run growth & how cultures can affect both of those. Having been a kid during the 2008 housing crisis, I was given the opportunity to dive into what actually caused much of America to fall into a pit of debt & hardships, as much of the middle class was swallowed by diminishing returns on property that they had invested much of their capital into. Along with that, I dove into the current economic we find ourselves in with the presence of Covid, as the state of the global economy isn’t necessarily ideal. Many signs from past financial tragedies, including wars, embargoes, & other bumps in the road show that Covid could continue to gradually bring the economy’s production down. To sum things up, I believe the biggest learning point I took away from doing this project would surely be that of understanding trends & how they affect other aspects of the economy. Nothing happens in a vacuum, especially not in economics when all industries & factors are tethered together so that when one is pulled, a noticeable difference in the overall well-being of the economy is present.

  36. As a group, we noticed that most of the material we covered, the news articles and the topics all showcased the Coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the economy. Coming into this project, I wasn’t fully aware the extent one event could have on the economy until I investigated the smaller topics of the economy. While digging deeper into out topics, I learned the material better from the project than from the lecture notes. Just by applying and researching economic terms, it has enabled me to create a better understanding of each topic. In my group, I was responsible for the Economic Fluctuations- Business Cycle and Debt v. Deficit topics. Throughout my topics, I wanted to show how the pandemic effected each one and the extent to which the economy changed over time. For my own benefit and others who read our Google Site, our group decided it was best that for each topic we provide 2 articles, terms, definitions, graphs, data, statistics, formulas, example problems and calculations. My first topic I researched was Economic Fluctuations-Business Cycle. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. has been in an economic recession and has had a decline in productivity. Using the FRED GDP chart, I was able to collect data from different periods of time and connect them to recessions. I was most interested to learn that when comparing percentage change in Real GDP in the Great Recession (2007-2009) and the current 2020 Recession that there is a greater difference or harder economic fall from the current 2020 Recession. I remember the stories my parents use to tell be about the house market crash of 2008 recession and now I get to live through and feel the effects of an even worse recession. The Great recession real GDP percentage change from peak to trough was -2.24% while the 2020 recession real GDP percentage change from peak to trough was -9.47%. Almost four times as worse! Although I am financially dependent on my parents, I still felt the effects of the economic fluctuations. My second topic I choose to research was Debt v. Deficit. The most interesting fact, one that I cannot even wrap my mind around, is that 2020 the global pandemic has pushed the U.S. on a path to exceed the national debt from World War II. The United States is not at war, yet we are borrowing as much money as one to save ourselves from economic disaster. In 2010 according to FRED and the U.S. Department of the Treasury the national debt was $12,773,123 million dollars and in 2020 the current national debt is $26,945,391 million dollars. In only 10 years the national debt has almost doubles and is still growing exponentially. Just from inference, there is no possible way to take out a loan large enough sum to cover the national debt. If there was one too, the government would also have to account and budget for the interest rate of the loans. The best strategy for me to understand these formulas was to compare the statistics to the years, this gave me a realist view on what the numbers meant and how they can be applied. Looking back at my research, it is safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic took a huge toll on the economy and it will be in recovery for generations to come. Overall, I honestly found this project very challenging and useful. It helped me to practically apply my textbook knowledge to realistic situations and everyday life. Economics is created by several intertwine topics that each play an important piece in the puzzle. This project made me realize how quickly things can change in the economy and it made me more aware of my economic actions.

  37. For this project we have decided to do it on the great recession in 2008. More specifically I chose to do economic inequality as well as inflation. I chose these topics because I feel that they are extremely important issue regarding inequality but also inflation can become an issue, so it is good to be knowledgeable about it. During the 2008 financial crisis no matter where you come from whether it be if your rich or poor or different race or ethnicities you or someone you know was affected by this event in most likely a negative way. Although since this country has been founded the gap between wages and wealth between the races has always been a somewhat significant figure and has not improved and it has been slowly getting worse. When I found out that the financial crisis lowered the net worth of white families by 17% where African Americans net worth dropped by 53%. These numbers are nowhere close, and it is just another example of how bad the situation is. This shows that black families are not only on average not as wealthy but are also affected much more when a crisis such as this one occurs. I think we should use the example of the 2008 financial crisis to really get people to understand how unequal the wealth is and to hopefully make change on that. I would like to do more research into this topic into the future to try and find some solutions to lessen the gap between race and income in America because I feel like that is one of the leading factors that cause inequality and not enough people talk about this. I feel as if we can fix this it will heal many other problems in our society. The other topic I spoke on was inflation. I was at first surprised at the answers I was receiving when I first investigated this. The inflation was negative also known as deflation in the year 2009 from the great recession. The consumer price index for 2008 was at 215.303 and the consumer price index for 2009 was at 214.537 which resulted in an inflation rate of negative 0.36%. The main reason for this negative inflation that occurred is from the economic hardships people were facing from the stock market crash and overall lowered net worth people were spending less on things that they normally would purchase or consume due to restricted wealth. This was a result of the over all economy shrinking which resulted in people being able to spend less money. Although originally, I thought that it was good because overall products had gotten cheaper, the reward did not outweigh the benefits because a shrinking economy is not a good thing and leads to a multitude of problems. I feel this project helped my group and I understand key concepts of economics that will be very useful to us in the future since we are pursuing careers in this.

  38. When we decided to relate all of our topics to the Great Recession, I was pretty excited to learn about that point in time in our nation’s history. About two years ago I had the pleasure of watching the movie “the great short” and loved every second of it. The high intense out of nowhere events that took place in that movie were so crazy to see. I think the best part of that whole movie was the timing of the business cycle and how only a handful of groups were able to predict the housing market crash while it was doing the best it had ever done. It shows how unpredictable each cycle is and the effects it can have on the whole society. That is what makes the business cycle so unpredictable, when times of expansion are happening there will be a market correction happening soon and the GPD will come back to that smooth potential line, but the matter of when it will is so unpredictable.
    The second topic of the great recession that is also so interesting is the fall in the GDP that happened in 2009. I can think back to the situation that my parents were in at the time and that recession led to the business that they were running going bankrupt in a terrible market. Their business was around sales and when the demand fell for their product it was broken beyond repair. With the total aggregate demand of goods falling during that time, the population’s spending was very cautious, and they saw a sharp decrease in production. I find it pretty interesting how interconnected all of these terms all to each other, not only did the fall in the GDP level hurt, but also the fact that more people were out of their jobs since the early 80s. When Americans are out of work and not even living paycheck to paycheck, nothing in a production-based economy is being bought and sold. We can look at the deflation occurring as an effect in the unemployment rise due to a negative relationship that they have with each other. Not much expansion was happening in those years when the economy crashed and overall spending fell so much that to keep pace and sell products the price of them had to fall as well.
    Going into this project, one of the topics I was not the most certain about was how the interest rates and the Fed really affected the housing market and the huge demand for mortgages that were happening. With little quality control over the standards in mortgages being delt, the frequency in subprime mortgages being delt was going to lead to disaster eventually but the greed of these lenders fogged their vision of what was the right thing to do leading to a monumental crash and a bank bailout that had to happen. This is shown in full effect in the big short movie when one of the characters actually goes to a neighborhood of huge luxurious houses and looks at all of the foreclosures happening that no one was talking about. Interest
    rates were too good to pass up for these lenders that they ended up just lending to whoever would agree.
    Finally looking at this time in regards to the economic inequality is important to see. The graph being shown and the huge drop off that white Americans had is so interesting to see as it compares to the smaller drop off African Americans had mainly because their wealth looks not even to be comparable with the rest of the races. Seeing this huge discrepancy in the two races was really eye-opening and I had no idea about the severity in inequality that we had in the united states. Making a bad topic worse with the great recession was what happened for them at this time and not catching any breaks during these collapses hurts me to see.
    I think the best part about economics is that very rarely does one event happen that only involves one concept that we learn in class. Everything happens for a reason and we can point back to the causes of those reasons with the terms that we learn. Looking back on the Great Recession and all off the causes and effects that happened during that time is so fascinating to see.

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    For the project my partner and I chose to do GDP and Growth, Debt v Deficit, Inflation and Prices and Labor and Unemployment, while I focused on the debt and unemployment. One thing I focused on which I found interesting as it pertains to current life is the comparison of the economy to pre-covid and the current times. Especially how it affected the labor force as I saw people get laid off at my job due to the loss of funds during the beginning stages of covid, and then to see the boom in new people being hired again. While working on the project I tied the concepts together by comparing debt to GDP and seeing how it all had an effect on the labor market. One thing I found interesting while doing my research is that the current state of the economy is close to what it was like during WW2, and while that wasn’t the key point of what I was trying to show. It was an interesting topic to do research on the side and see how the current economy is doing in comparison to what learning life was like during WW2 all throughout school. One thing the project helped me understand better, is that while these topics may be taught separately, you can’t use only one key point to say why something happened in the economy. It is all interconnected in one way of another, and in order to fully understand why something happened you need to look into and research all aspects that could possibly have an effect on it.

  40. For this project I decided I would look at Inequality, focusing on the Poverty Rate, and Business Cycles, concentrating on the Recessions and Recoveries the United States economy faces with close attention on how it fared during the Covid Crisis. The Washington Post article I came across for Business Cycles talked about how the US is technically done with the recession it has recently faced. I looked to prove this by showing that the Real GDP had increased, and the Unemployment Rate had decreased, helping prove that the US has made it past the trough. While researching inequality in America, there was an article from the Associated Press stating that many people that didn’t lose their job during the pandemic actually got a raise, so while tons of people were still jobless, others were actually better off than before. This was interesting to me as many of the graphs and indicators we had looked pointed to the economy recovering. This can mostly be seen in Real GDP and the Consumer Price Index with both trending upwards, and even a little in the unemployment rate, as it has begun to decrease from its astronomically high rise in the spring of 2020. The AP article and the Washington Post article fit very well together, as I realized they both told a compelling message that while an economy overall may be showing signs of trending upwards, many people do not or cannot see the results of it. While this does seem rather obvious in retrospect, as a not even twenty-year-old who hasn’t had to stress about paying bills or feeding a family, it was enlightening to me and made me realize that often times I need to look past the overall numbers of an economy because they do not tell the full story. I think learning this new info will definitely help me in the future, even if it may not help me with my professional career. Often, I hear politicians on TV brag about how well the economy is doing under their leadership, or how terrible it is under their opponents’ leadership, I hope now that I can listen to them and see past many of the basic facts and figures that they use to make them look good and look at others that show a different side of the story.

  41. Unit 2 of Macroeconomics is a large unit filled with vast topics that are vital to understanding not just what we learn in class moving forward, but in understanding economics as a whole. Prior to this project, I will admit that I only vaguely understood these topics. However, after applying the business cycle, inflation rate, GDP growth, unemployment rate, interest rate, and inequality (equity), to a specific time period, it was much easier to comprehend how these factors truly worked. My group focused on the Great Recession to make sense of these topics and apply them to a real life situation as important as this one. What I found most interesting was the way that the GDP growth between the years of the Recession, when compared to the unemployment rate and inflation rate, could tell you where in the business cycle the United States was. The Great Recession began in December of 2007 which was the peak of the recession, and by June of 2009, the U.S managed its way in the trough of the recession due to the Fed adopting a zero-interest rate policy, which aggressively lowered interest rates in 2008. In regard to actual experience, being able to find and prove data provided by articles and actual databases using the formulas we have learned in class made understanding why the house market crash affected the economy the way that it did. I was able to find and prove why the unemployment rate in 2007 increased to 5% using data found by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and FRED, as well as why the unemployment rate further increased up to 10% by 2009. Furthermore, finding the inflation rate was a difficult task seeing as knowing which consumer price index to use for each year was crucial to determining the actual rate. The most daunting task was proving how the GDP growth rate dropped by 4.3% between the peak in the 4th quarter of 2007 to the trough of the 2nd quarter of 2009. Two articles that I found mentioned and featured the same article that said that it had dropped by 4.3%, but after scanning the website I was unable to find where they extracted the data to prove this. Because of this, rather than prove what was stated in the articles, I used the data I had found from the FRED graph and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to challenge these articles and calculate my own GDP growth rate for the great recession. Lastly, the most interesting out of everything when researching for this project was realizing that we unknowingly grew up during this recession, being completely unaware of the challenges it brought us. Thinking back to it, the increased inflation rate between the years of 2007 to 2009 explains precisely why during my elementary school years, we had to cut back on our resources and make the most of what we had. My father was always good with money, however, instead of paying off our house in 2007 like he had hoped, he was only able to pay it off well after 2009.

  42. The articles we chose for this project all display how the economy has been affected by COVID-19, and the lasting effects of the pandemic in the future. Each article stated that COVID-19 has been a huge setback for the growth of the economy and employment. The topics we chose to focus on were; GDP and Growth, Labor and Unemployment, Inflation, and Debt and Deficit. In class, we learned about how GDP can be used to track inflation rates, so reading more about the concepts helped to clarify how the concepts are connected. The article about GDP Growth used the calculation to track U.S. Debt, which was another topic covered in class. The prior knowledge of GDP helped us to comprehend the articles about debt and inflation. Also, using the GDP Growth formula helped clarify how annual rates of the economic year are used to calculate the rate of growth in the future. We also learned how to calculate the unemployment rate in class. We used the formula to find unemployment rates in February after finding data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tied together with the other topics we covered because we learned in class that the unemployment rate and labor rates are connected, because of the Phillips Curve.
    I found it interesting how nothing is constant in the economy, and how it is all interrelated. Doing this project reaffirmed how we knew that everything in the economy is subject to change over time, and is easily affected by numerous factors, for example, a global pandemic. Before this, I knew that COVID-19 would have a huge effect on the economy, but did not know the specific ways it would affect it. Furthermore, it was interesting how the articles all mentioned that the incoming stimulus check can affect GDP growth, inflation, and national debt. Before doing this assignment, we did not know that a stimulus check could have such an enormous effect on the economy, especially in the next decade. I knew that it was a source of contention in Congress and was a complicated process, but did know that it would affect GDP growth, along with tax revenues and inflation.
    In the future, I would like to research more about if the projected rates from the CBO will be accurate. I would also like to learn more about how the unemployment rates as a result of the pandemic will be able to be restored. It will be fascinating to see how the country recovers from the disastrous effects of the pandemic, especially in the economy. I will apply the concepts we studied in the future because they all will affect our lives in the future. For example, debt rates will affect economic growth which will affect our livelihood. If the economy is down when we are entering the labor force, it will be a lot harder to find a job. I will take GDP into account when I am starting to settle down because GDP affects the standards of living. Finally, I will take inflation into account when investing in stocks because it can decrease the investment value. Overall, all of the topics are important for us to understand especially because I am about to enter the labor force and the economy is a large factor in finding a job and beginning my adult life.

  43. The two topics I chose to reflect on were inflation and prices, debt and deficit. These two interest me because of what our economy is currently going through with the COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to learn more as to how much inflation and our nation’s debt has truly been affected in the past year, and learn about possible future outcomes. What I learned is that what was interesting about the current increase in our inflation rate was mainly caused by the 7.4% increase in gasoline prices. I also found interesting how the acts created by Congress to help American citizens through the pandemic ultimately will add over $1.8 trillion to the federal deficits. When I learned that it made me think on what this will soon entail in the future. A way the government can counteract against an increase in budget deficit is by raising taxes and cutting spending, but currently the acts are meant to help those who are out of work and can not afford to do that. Learning more deeply into these topics have made me open my eyes up more, and I am beginning to notice the change in prices everywhere. My grocery list is still the same length, but yet slightly more expensive than the last trip I took a few weeks ago. The high increase in gas prices; however, are hard for me to not notice just for the fact that I use my car frequently and pay for my own gas. After learning more about these two topics I am definitely more curious on observing what will happen over the next year with the new vaccine. Another thing I am curious to observe and learn more about are the fluctuation in gas prices. How will our new government deal with this high increase of gasoline prices? Will there be a price ceiling put into place if gas prices raise too high just like how there are price ceilings for rent? Or will the government have us “wait it out”, and hope they will come down on their own over the next couple of months hoping the new COVID-19 vaccine will help us get back to normal.

  44. The topics that I searched and completed for the project were inflation and debt/deficit. One thing I noticed when reading the news articles and the overall data I got for the topics was that they were all impacted by Covid. Almost all of the news articles I found for those topics included the impact of the current pandemic. It was fascinating to see how even recovery efforts for the pandemic somehow still had a chance of negatively impacting the economy, as seen with the fear surrounding President Biden’s stimulus package plan. It was difficult at times throughout the project to find the correct data because of how much information is out there, and the overall size of data available to us is both resourceful but also confusing when trying to pick out the correct data to plug into an equation and solve. I did although enjoy using websites like the U.S. Bureau of Statistics and St.Louis fed because as much as it was overwhelming with the amount of data present, everything I needed to know about the economy in the past, present, and future was there. This data was incredibly helpful when I tried tying back the current economic data to previous periods so I could see the impact of the pandemic. It was relatively easy to calculate the inflation rate, but again with all the data available, it was also hard to find the correct numbers at first to plug into the debt-to-GDP ratio formula, and I had to be careful and make sure that the data I found was correct for whatever equation I was solving. One of the articles was addressing the potential risk of inflation due to President Biden’s stimulus package and because of this article, I was surprised to see the difference of opinions when it came to inflation. I thought it was interesting how there isn’t one fixed answer, solution, thinking, or belief when it comes to inflation concerns. Calculating debt was also another difficulty I faced due to how much data was available, I wasn’t always sure which data I should be using, but when it came to finding the debt-to-GDP ratio it was relatively easy since the formula itself is simple. I was mixing up debt and deficit when I first began the project since both deficit-to-GDP and debt-to-GDP were mentioned in my articles, I thought that they were interchangeable, but luckily with the research, I was able to distinguish the two. Lastly, I was able to learn how all these aspects of the economic impact one another, for example, GDP was a big part of calculating the debt-to-GDP ratio, and looking back at the work my partner did on GDP was a big help when trying to understand how and why GDP influenced debt.

    For the most part, since I have never taken economics before this class, learning about these concepts was not easy whatsoever, and in some ways, this project reaffirmed that economics is not easy, but what it did affirm is how important it is to be financially literate. Understand how the economy functions and works allow us to be aware of these incredibly influential concepts like inflation and debt/deficit since we don’t know what global issue may negatively impact not only our economy but our livelihoods, as seen with the impact of the pandemic. So although this project was not easy, it was interesting applying the concepts we learned in class to everyday problems.

  45. The articles we chose as a group focus a lot on Covid-19, there were just so many articles being written about the effects Covid-19 had on the economy it was hard to look away from it. I mainly focused on the business cycles and the FED/interest rates, it was really interesting reading about how the FED was controlling inflation during the pandemic. I thought it was challenging when we first learned the material of the FED, but reading the articles and applying them to real-life scenarios really helped my understanding. I feel now I have a very good knowledge of how it works and could speak intelligently about the subject instead of just having a basic knowledge of the topic. I believe that learning about it more changed the way I think of certain political topics like raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. It shows just how complex it is and how it is going to affect so many aspects besides the wage and prices. I would like to learn more about what else can be altered to control inflation and what that would benefit, I am not sure if there is anything else that could be done, but I think looking into it would be a very interesting and challenging objective. I also enjoyed the articles about the business cycle. I thought it was cool how much it fluctuates and how businesses are still very successful during recessions. I think I could use this information in the future when I open my own company. Using the information knowing that it is likely I will still come out on top even during the tough times. I think that this project helped me realize that during even a little outside research into a topic I don’t understand and reading one or two articles with real-life scenarios and drastically change my understanding of the topic for the better.

  46. For this project, I decided to focus on Real GDP and & Unemployment Rate. I felt that both of these topics had strong correlation and were very interesting to learn more about, as they both reflect on the current state of our economy. I found it very interesting to learn about the way this pandemic has had a huge impact on our economy and that unfortunately it will take quite some time to recover once the pandemic is over. When researching GDP & Growth, I came across an article from the New York Times that goes into greater depth on the serious damage the pandemic has had on our economy. Between all the government shutdowns and unemployment rate being at an all time high, the GDP this past year has hit an all time low, which caused the percentage of debt in relation to GDP to be much higher as well. As stated in the article, the first major shutdown that happened during the 2nd quarter of the year, caused a 3 month collapse leading to GDP falling 9.5%. Overall, 2020 has been the worst year of Economic Growth in the United States.
    My second topic being Labor & Unemployment, all correlated with this due to the unemployment rate reaching 14.7% this past April during the shutdown. When reading the Wall Street Journal Article I found on the recent Unemployment rise, I learned just how high the unemployment rate really has been this past year due to the pandemic. When looking at the graph from FRED that included Unemployed, along with the labor force and total employed, I can see why it is so important to understand these things within the economy. It is heartbreaking to see how much the economy has been impacted by the pandemic and how many people lost their jobs and businesses due to all the shutdowns. I think that no matter what my future career may be, I should always know how the economy is doing in terms of the GDP and current unemployment rate. This project, researching these specific topics, along with the lecture videos, helped me a lot with knowing how to calculate these certain things and how they relate to the real world.

    Dominique Shepherd

  47. The two topics I worked on during the project was business cycles and inequality. I did these topics because I was still a little confused on the concepts of these topics and wanted to learn more about them. I learned that the business cycle is an important role in economics because economist can look at the data presented and see how long we were in a recession or in a recovery and tell how much the GDP fell/increased by. Business cycles can also measure unemployment, labor force participation, and inflation. We use business cycles to see the peaks of our economies, the downfalls (recession), and the growth (recovery) we make after a disaster happens. As we are going through a recovery the GDP is increasing while the unemployment rate is decreasing. I found that the U.S. took its greatest recession period between the years 2007-2009 during the great recession. The other topic I choose was inequality. I learned that different countries have different averages in income. I also learned that the top 0.1% and top 1% of the population collects more than 80% of the income. The difference in the income of the top 0.1% and the bottom 90% is dramatic. I also learned that inequality can be measured before and after tax is taken. From the data I presented in the project the top 1% has always been more dominant than the top 0.1% and the bottom 90%. I feel like the information I learned will help me with the project and in the future.

  48. [* Shield Security plugin marked this comment as “Trash”. Reason: Failed Bot Test (expired) *]
    For project one, we covered the following topics: inequality, GDP/Growth, inflation, and labor force/unemployment. I covered inflation and unemployment. Relating the two topics can be very interesting. For starters, I chose the two topics because I was highly interested in them. Inflation first caught my attention when I saw pictures on Facebook about different prices of goods 50+ years ago versus now. For example, how a loaf of bread in 1950 only cost 12 cents, whereas now it costs anywhere from $1.95 to $2.05. Or how a gallon of gas was 27 cent in 1950 and now it is around $2.60. I believe the reason I find it so interesting is because people pay so little attention to the decline of purchasing power of currency over time. And I get to learn about it in depth. The unemployment rate affects everyone. If there is no one to work, the number of goods and services available to others (not in the industry) declines. It kind of like the world slowly stops turning when people don’t have jobs. Relating the two, if unemployment is high, inflation decreases and vice versa. When unemployment is high, the inflation of wages stay the same because there are many people available for the job. Looking at the other side of it, when unemployment is low, employers’ higher wages to attract potential employees.

    I used this website to help me further understand the relationship between unemployment and inflation:

  49. For project 1 our group decided to focus on GDP and Growth , Debt v. Deficit , Economic Fluctuations – Business Cycles , Interest Rates and The Fed , Labor and Unemployment , and Inflation and Prices. The topics that I chose to focus on were GDP and Growth and Debt v. Deficit. I thought that both of these topics have been heavily impacted by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic both GDP and debt were affected. The Gross Domestic Product spiked down during the unfortunate events of the pandemic on our economy. I then found an article from The New York Times, which helps understand the spike in the GDP Fred graph. This Article talked about the coronavirus pandemic’s toll on the nation’s economy which was by far the largest on record, causing a three month collapse. This led to GDP to fall 9.5 percent in the second quarter of the year, which wiped away nearly five years of growth. Due to this more than 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits and 830,000 people filed for other benefits. With prior knowledge of GDP it helped me understand the article covering debt. What I found particularly interesting was how all six topics were tied in with one another. Debt and deficits relate to GDP because debt and deficit are calculated in GDP. For my second topic, Debt v Deficit, the Fred graph shows a spike upwards in debt. I then found an article from CNBC which helps understand the spike in the Debt v Deficit graph. This article talks about how coronavirus has pushed global debt to over $272 trillion in the third quarter. With the stay at home orders and many businesses losing profit or shutting down, this translated into higher borrowing and more debt in our country. This ties in with GDP which represents a ratio of 365%. This project helped me apply the formulas we learned in class to the actual real world and our economy. All six topics tied into this pandemic , which was really interesting to see how similar but different these all were. I can use this information for a better understanding in my micro class as well as the debt and deficit in financial accounting.

  50. Recent events made this project a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. It’s very clear that COVID has caused major disruptions to the economy, but it seems like things have been recovering quickly from everything I read. Just looking at the FRED tells that story. Comparing the spike in unemployment in 2008 to 2020 makes things clear. There was a massive spike, much larger than in 2008, but it recovered much quicker. Things still aren’t normal yet, and even if we do account for those people that left the labor force, it seems like we will recover quickly in the area of unemployment. GDP suffered a similar pit, but also is recovering quickly, possibly quicker than unemployment will. If the new relief bill passes too, then it may cause GDP to grow even further. What’s interesting is that mortgage interest rates have dropped super low, and are still relatively low compared to before the pandemic. This of course makes a little bit of sense, since not many people are likely to take out loans at a high interest rate during a financial crisis. But this could benefit many who look to refinance their loan with this lower interest rate. The changes in Inflation are also interesting. Th CPI dropped by a huge amount during early 2020, and only started to rise again in may of 2020. With Biden’s new relief plan on the horizon, some fear this may cause a spike in the rate of inflation. Looking over several articles however, some also think that it could have no noticeable effect on inflation anyways. Since inflation is mostly based on the prices of items however, it’s a hard thing to predict. It all depends on how companies react to the stimulus package. I personally don’t think many businesses would raise prices very much while we are still recovering, but it’s not an easy thing to predict.

  51. The two major topics I chose were business cycle and inflation and prices. I thought these two topics would be interesting since there’s new data on them and COVID-19 heavily impacted both the business cycle and prices. We see the recession probability shoot up around February of 2020 and plateau until May of 2020. We can tell that this is because of the high demand for goods when the pandemic started. I also learned that a normal business cycle is made up of recessions but this recession was abnormal due to the pandemic. Another graph I used in my project showed how the GDP and the unemployment rate go hand in hand and how the unemployment rate went up 24.5% for part-time workers. It also went up 12.9% in April for full-time workers. When looking at the GDP, I found that to be able to go back to pre COVID-19 GDP rates it would have to rise 4.7 %. In conclusion, I found this project to be very insightful. I got the opportunity to do some research on my own about some major topics that we cover in class and was able to report data and elaborate on the fluctuation theory!

  52. For this project, my partner Simon and I looked into the topics of labor and unemployment, and inequality. Within the topics of labor and unemployment, we focused on the unemployment rate, labor force participation rate, and the employment-population ratio. Unemployment rate is the percentage of the labor force that is not working but actively searching for work. The labor force participation rate is the percentage of eligible workers relative to the number of people actually working or pursuing work. The employment-population ratio is a measure of the employed labor force against the total working-age population. All three of them went through significant changes due to the pandemic. On April 2020, the unemployment rate spiked up to 14.8%, but dropped to 11.1 according to a USAToday article. A CNSNews article reported that the United States labor force participation rate reached a record low of 60.2% on that same month of April 2020. According to the Washington Post, the employment-population ratio also decreased and fell to 51% from 61%. All three were greatly affected by the pandemic. This shows that the pandemic had a huge negative impact on labor and unemployment. The other topic we looked at was inequality. Income inequality is the difference of the distribution of wealth between households. After reading an article by the University of Southern California’s Economic Journal, I learned that income inequality in Los Angeles County has been increasing. Middle-wage jobs have been on the decline and there has been an increase in low-wage jobs. Reading this reminded me of something my dad has once mentioned. He said something along the lines, “The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. I believe the increase in income inequality is evidence of this quote. An increase in low-wage jobs and a decrease in middle-wage jobs results in a huge difference between the higher-income earners and lower-income earners.

  53. For Project 1 I discussed two topics based on unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic. I thought about what areas of the US were most affected and came up with the Youth of our country. Most kids these days look for internships and other jobs that were highly affected by the pandemic. I was interested to see how badly the unemployment rate rose between them and older adults. for my second topic, I was interested to see how unemployment was in the perspective of gender. I was curious to see how it affected women compared to men. I had no idea how many women work in the areas that were most severely affected by the pandemic. While my partner chose the general unemployment of the pandemic, I wanted to see if there really was a difference between being a man during the tough times as it was being a woman. This project helped me better understand the formulas in class as we have learned about different types of unemployment and how to calculated numbers based on the size of the labor force.

  54. For this submission of the project, my partner Andrew and I decided to focus on both unemployment and equity/inequality. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, every aspect of our economy was affected by it — most notably, the rate of employment. Additionally, there were very unique patterns and rates at which the unemployment was occurring, and who it was occurring to. Black Americans experienced the affects of the pandemic very differently than other races. There were higher rates of unemployment among Black Americans, and the tightness of the job market exposed companies’ tendency to show racial biases. As someone who is interested in and involved with social justice issues, I wanted to explore how unemployment due to Coronavirus impacted various groups. I looked at how it affected Black Americans and white Americans, and my partner looked at the discrepancies in how it affected men and women. By looking at this, the manner in which these different groups of people are treated in our society is truly exposed. Additionally, we both explored how the pandemic affected us in particular – I looked at general unemployment rates in VA, and Andrew looked at unemployment among young adults. It was both interesting and important for us to look into because, before we know it, we will be active members of the work force. Knowing how the economy works before we truly become a part of it is important. It was really interesting to see how the pandemic affected young adult employment especially, because it revealed how companies value older employees with more experience rather than someone fresh-faced and young. Additionally, it was shown that most of industries that young adults were employed in were impacted the most by COVID-19.The impact of the pandemic on the job market will last well into when most of us enter the work force. The way that the pandemic has affected the job market, specifically racial minorities and women, is significant and important for us to understand. I enjoyed working on this project as it helped open my eyes to the reality of economic inequality in this country, and its effect on employment.

  55. For Project One, I learned a great deal about the business cycle and how the economy fluctuates. Growing up through the recession of 2009, the words economy, declines, growth, etc. have flown around me for as long as I remember. This was also the case this past spring when everything halted to a stop. Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the news and everyday life I was constantly reminded of the declining state of the economy. Repeatedly I would hear the question, how is the economy going to recover from this? As the months went one, we all soon realized a decline in the GDP had occurred. Before learning about this unit, I wasn’t fully aware of how many things affect our economy. Though I still find it a bit hard finding the right words when talking about the economy and such, the topic is much more solidified in my head. Looking at the graph I used in our slides, I can now follow it pointing out recessions and periods of growth without being confused. By doing this project, I was definitely able to apply what we learned in class (percentage change equation) to present day issues (COVID’s effect on the economy). II think the percentage change equation will be useful in day-to-day life, especially as I move forward into a more professional setting.

  56. With this project I really wanted to learn and go into depth with the topics presented. My partner and I discussed which topics we wanted to research more and see how they have been effecting the nation as of now. Between the unemployment rate and the federal deficit is where I became really interested. 2020 was a wild year for a lot of people, especially the labor force. Millions of people getting laid off due to closing of small and large businesses. Covid-19 had a huge roll in the unemployment rate and I did my research to investigate it. A long with the unemployment rate, the deficit increased due to government stimulus to help out the labor force. People couldn’t afford they’re mortgages and simple bills that they normally would be able to in a normal work year. The government needed to step In to make sure that major economic damage did not occur. Besides the fact that thousands of businesses closed due to the pandemic. This hits home for me as my Aunt lost her restaurant of thirty plus years in downtown Alexandria due to the lockdown restrictions. This project allowed me to understand why she had to close and why many others unfortunately did the same. I learned a lot from this project and it made me realize the unprecedented measures that had to be taken into effect for a modern day disaster.

  57. For the group project my group work on GDP, unemployment rate, economic inequality, and interest rates. For my part of the project, I decided to do the unemployment rate and economic inequality because I find those to be the most interesting out of the four we chose. From the sources that I used for my project as well as ones I looked at in the research process, I found that the different spikes of unemployment to be quite interesting. A lot of the spikes had reasons such as the Great Depression when unemployment was at a high of 24.9% or in 1942 when it was at a low of only 1.2%. While I was doing research on economic inequality I found that there are a vast majority of causes for it. I learned how rich the top 20% of the U.S. actually is. More reasons such as a good portion of the population not having the chance to attend college and get a higher education put the majority of them into the bottom 20% percent of the nation’s wealth. There is also gender inequality as well as race. The main problem with race inequality is that not much has changed in the past years. The majority of white males compared to males of any other race has had an extreme amount of less increase in income. This project helped me to learn and understand the formulas in class better as we have learned about economic inequality as well as to better understand the unemployment rate formula.

  58. My partner and I looked at four topics for Project 1. We explored more into Unemployment, GDP, Interest Rates, and Inflation. We tried to learn more about these topics, while calculating certain values based on articles we read and data we researched. Looking through the different topics each time, I found inflation very interesting and challenging. Especially CPI and how that affects inflation and prices of certain goods. CPI is a very important tool in measuring the economy. I found the different parts of CPI and inflation challenging because of how many values are needed to measure the economy, and how CPI is affected by Inflation, which is impacted by many reasons. The whole chain of events is still something I am getting used to, but this project help clarify and differentiate some of the issues I had. The project did change the way I thought. Initially, I did not expect gas prices to play such a big role in CPI, but after reading an article on it and doing more research I learned how big of an impact an increase or decrease in the price of gas can have on CPI.
    These topics have all been helpful and impactful. They can definitely be applied to everyday life, when I see a crazy increase in gas from one day to the next, I should expect the CPI to be up that day and Inflation to be the reason for both. In my professional life, these will greatly be appreciated and used. When investing I should know the impact inflation might have on my bond. For example Long-Term Government Bond Yields: 10-year: Main. This long-term bonds’ purchasing power is completely changed by inflation. Another interesting thing to note is how different the data rates and value’s predicted growth has been impacted by the Covid pandemic. Throughout my research, I noticed that year to year growth in 2020 way smaller than expected pre covid. This is just interesting because, completing this project last year would’ve seen way different results in for example growth of GDP in 2020. Covid also played a big role in impacting interest rates. With unprecedented impacts of the virus, the FED has had to cut interest rates close to zero in order to try to keep it alive and grow in the future. And we have also seen a huge increase in unemployment because of the virus. Thankfully that is coming back a little bit by bit, but it was at an awfully high percent last year. We will see what the next year has in store for us, as the government trys to fix all these uncommon rates. Overall this project was very helpful in appreciating and learning more about these topic.

  59. In our project we primarily covered topics regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, including the unemployment rate, labor force participation rate, and the employment-to-population rate. When the pandemic began, it instantly shut down the majority of businesses across the United States which obviously impacted the unemployment rate. Not only did the businesses shut down, but many had to cut their rosters down to avoid bankruptcy, resulting in permanent unemployment cases. At this point, the country experiences a record-low level of unemployment, however, in June of 2020 a select number of businesses reopened which decreased the unemployment rate. I calculated the unemployment rate when businesses reopened to see how drastically the unemployment rate would change. It ended up decreasing by almost 3%. I also focused on the labor force participation rate primarily because many people chose not to work, but rather to collect unemployment benefits when the pandemic began. I assumed that the participation rate would severely decrease; according to my articles, the United States experienced record low participation rates (47 years since those levels to be exact). This calculation was simple, labor force divided by the potential workforce, multiplied by 100. In addition, we also researched the employment to population ratio which does not include the unemployed (which also classifies those who are actively looking for work). Our reasoning behind this was simply that there were people who avoided work during the pandemic by collecting unemployment checks which would be included in the labor force participation rate since they are technically counted as unemployed, but searching for work. However, this calculation primarily focuses on the percentage of the potential workforce that is actually employed. We figured that the employment to population rate would drop and were correct once again. These three calculations helped us gain a broader understanding of how the pandemic truly affected the United States. Without the knowledge acquired within this macroeconomics course, I would not have understood how severely Covid-19 impacted labor participation, employment, and unemployment within the country. Our final research calculation was based on income inequality. This is a personal interest as I have wondered whether or not middle-class jobs are becoming more available compared to lower-income occupations. Specifically in the Los Angeles area, there has been a constant decrease in the availability of middle-wage jobs over the past decade and a half with rising low-income opportunities. We calculated that the mean income ratio was 21.2 which was significantly lower than I expected. I believe that this is a call for change in our economy to implement more income balances within areas with poor income ratios. Overall, I feel that this project has broadened my perspective quite a bit as far as macroeconomics goes. Macroeconomics completely intertwines with nearly every aspect of our daily lives and I am happy that I am beginning to understand the ins and outs of our nation’s economy.

  60. When it came to choosing topics, I chose what I genuinely found interesting. I chose inflation and prices because before taking this class, I felt that these numbers were totally arbitrary. My father would always complain about how “back in his day”, things were different and cheaper. Seeing these figures (and making a situation for myself) really put this into perspective, and I understand my father’s gripes more.
    I also chose debt and deficit for some of the same reasons. I had heard my parents complaining about the incompetence of the legislative branch, and how they used people’s hard-earned money on frivolous things. While the things they spend taxpayer money on can be seen as less frivolous (such as stimulus checks for those affected by the pandemic), Congress has only accumulated more government debt for almost two decades. This has caused uncertainty in times where certainty is necessary. For example, I have acquaintances who have lost hope in our representatives, especially during the pandemic and other crises in recent months.
    When it came to my analysis, I was fascinated by the data. I especially found it interesting to try and correlate specific events to the specific point. For example, when looking at the GDP in 2020, there was a slight drop from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020, but the line quickly takes a swan dive into Q2 2020, reflecting the multitudes of people who were suddenly shunned from their offices and workplaces, forced to either work from home or file for unemployment. The thing about data is that it is hard and cold, it does not adjust for seasons (or pandemics). This is why I enjoy the seasonally adjusted data, because it accounts for tourism and other activities that do not always happen all year. While these data did not radicalize me and how I think about debt and inflation, they will definitely be in my mind as I go forward, and will help me be a more engaged citizen when it comes to economic matters.
    This project made me want to do more research. I am curious as to why our debt has increased the way it has when it has. I am curious about specific legislators that want to curb the deficit, and how, and why. These ideas will definitely help me going forward, as this project helped me understand how to interpret data, and how to convey my ideas using said data.

  61. For this portfolio project I had chosen the topics of stock/equity and bonds as these are topics that have interested me the most so far. I have a desire to learn and become fluent in investing so I can use it as a second source of income, letting my money do my work for me. AT first, this project seemed to be easy and straightforward; however, after looking further into it I realized just how much knowledge I was lacking. A prime example of this would be the bond section where I had to do some extensive research on the way that bonds are classified, how the indexes work, and how the bond market relates to other economic factors such as interest rates. When researching for the stock/equity portion, I had already thought of the topic of Tesla’s inclusion in the SP500 and I knew this would be a great way to talk about the behavior of stocks and current market trends of overvaluation. Despite this, I still found myself to be struck by the later statement. Stocks that are widely publicized and reported on have a much larger overvaluation than companies that are doing 10x better. After much more research than was needed and hearing of recent events regarding Robinhood, it seems that the best explanation of this would be a large influx of new investors. A large majority of these new investors have very small portfolios and are easily persuaded, leading to majority of investment in well known stocks. Evidence of this is seen where Tesla’s stock skyrocketed after a split that allowed for smaller investors to buy in at cheaper prices or that their stock jumps simply due to Elon Musk’s tweets that are at times completely unrelated. The total US corporate equities market has far surpassed the nation’s GDP, showing yet another indicator that stocks are being drastically overvalued. This is especially true during COVID, where it is logical that stocks would be doing poorly due to societal restrictions but that is obviously not the case. I can confidently say that thanks to the research for this project, I have become a much more informed investor. The P/E ratio makes a lot more sense to me now and it has become evident that stocks relative value can be distinguished well from this. This is not to say that those stocks should be avoided at all costs as there is still the possibility to make money. The greatest takeaway would be that those stocks should simply be monitored very closely as they are high risk since the stock performance reflects very poorly on the companies actual performance.

  62. Before I started this project, I knew that the global Covid-19 pandemic had a terrible impact on the economy. The pandemic caused many businesses to be shutdown or have limited service, and it also caused many people to lose their jobs. A majority of the articles I read talked about the effect of the pandemic on the U.S. economy that is why for this project I chose to look at the real GDP growth rate and the Interest Rate. I used data from the end of 2020 to do my research because I wanted to learn about what has been happening more recently. I discovered that our economy is currently slowly recovering from the pandemic as the U.S. reopens more businesses and people start going back to work. Which is something I had not realized before. My research for this project also allowed me to dig deeper into topics that I had gone over in class but didn’t completely understand. I knew that the real GDP growth rate was important, but I didn’t realize why or how important it truly was. I had trouble understanding why the government cared so much about the real GDP growth rate compared to other statistics. I learned that the real GDP growth rate is so important because it is reliable when it comes to showing the general health of the economy. This project also allowed me to get a better understanding of what the Federal Reserve was doing during the pandemic to try and fix the economy. I learned from CNBC articles that the Federal Reserve is keeping the federal funds rate around 0, and that the current target range is 0-.25%. I found this particularly interesting because I was struggling with understanding how the Fed could help fix the economy after a pandemic. I also learned that their reasoning behind lowering the federal return rate was to try and control the current inflation and to encourage healthy economic growth. After I was finished researching and getting a better understanding of my topics, I used my unit 2 notes/formulas and data from FRED to calculate the current real interest rate and the real GDP growth rate. This project helped me figure out how to find and calculate data on my own, so in the future I won’t always have to rely on someone else’s word when it comes to learning new information. Also, working in a small group allowed me to practice my group skills which is an important skill to have. It is important since I will most likely have to work in groups when I get a job in the future, and if I don’t have adequate practice working with other people I will struggle and fall behind my peers who may have better experience in that department. This project did a good job at challenging me in different ways, teaching me how our economy is currently doing, and improving skills that will benefit me in the future.

  63. The two themes I chose are banking and the Fed, because I have always been curious about banks, an organization that can generate profits “out of thin air” by using existing funds reasonably. I have a lot of curiosity and a certain degree of fear for this money-making industry. I remember when I was a child, I asked this question for the first time “How does the bank make money?” At that time, my father took two cups, filled the first cup with a glass of water, and asked me to Pour this glass of water into the second glass. After I finished this action, my father asked me if there was any water in the first cup. I naturally answered that there was no more. “Take a closer look,” my father said. After careful observation, I discovered that there were still some remaining water droplets in the cup. This is my first impression of the bank, transporting people’s stored money and making money from it.
    When I was looking for news about banks, I saw an article from Chattanooga Times Free Press. The title of the article is “New bank entering Chattanooga market as 28 banks vie for consumer dollars”. I had a question at the time whether the number of banks has been increasing and why. So I went to FERD to find data about the number of Bank of Branches for the United States. The data shows that before 2009, the number of banks was increasing, and after 2009 it began to decrease. At the same time, I also saw data about Bank credit, so I linked the two and analyzed the relationship between the number of banks and bank credit.
    Since I talked about banks, why not talk about the Fed. In my opinion, the Federal Reserve is also a mysterious organization, because I cannot understand why a country’s currency issuance power is not in the hands of government agencies. According to my understanding, I think this has a lot to do with the Fed’s currency issuance method, so I look for news about the Fed from the perspective of US Treasuries. During this process, I also discovered that the Fed actually started to care about vaccines and the epidemic. I also included the news from the Washington Post titled “From vaccines to masks, Fed’s prescription for the economy ventures far beyond interest rates”. It’s in project one.

  64. For this project I chose to talk about gross domestic product during 2020, the production function and also the United States budget deficit. All of three of these different aspects were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some form. With the production of vaccines and cases somewhat beginning to go down, the predictions by experts for this new year of 2021 are proving to be hopeful wishes for the economy (while the resulting predictions can still be considered as unpredictable or subject to rapidly changing). I found it very challenging to understand how the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2020 was able to be reevaluated and experts could produce a new value to represent the United States gross domestic product (GDP). I learned how important GDP is for the economy and how even a minute edit to raise it represents more than just a number. It is also showing the health of the economy and how it may be beginning to improve from the aftermath of a pandemic that ravaged the United States economy negatively. I relate gross domestic product to when I took a business course in high school and had to learn about what goods and services were. Since the United States federal GDP is very closely impacted by the production of goods and services. Being able to do research about GDP has changed the way I think about how the economy functions as a whole. In the past I would have ignored such details as “GDP rates are changing drastically”. However, from doing this project it has shown me what the United States is able to produce during a given year, and how it impacts the overall economic aspect. These two aspects alone may seem unimportant however the pandemic has shown how badly our economy was affected by the closure of U.S. business and the loss of many jobs simultaneously. This was something that nobody was expecting would happen with such severe negative consequences and not even the United States government would be prepared to combat. I believe that I will want to know more about how the production of goods or services by the simple working class citizen is able to determine a number that shows the health of our government either in a positive or negative aspect (a very important aspect). The country is facing even more of a budget deficit, resulting from the many economic relief payments the government had to release to citizens to assist with a lack of overall job loss and decrease in business performance. I have learned about how every decision that the government makes has consequences. Creating more money to give to Americans has caused the United States debt to reach a very high level. While this year’s level is projected to be lower than 2020 and the difference is significant. The United States economy still has a ways to go and it will take years to fully recover. Fortunately, from conducting research in both the national budget deficit and the production function. I learned that the rates for 2021 are projected to be lowered in terms of unemployment and GDP is going to be higher. This is a good sign and shows that citizens are able to start working again while also producing more goods and services for the United States economy to be able to export. In closing, from having the ability to work on his project it taught me the value of each aspect individually and its importance on the health of our country’s economy as a whole. The pandemic very negatively affected all three of these areas and each area plays an important role in how we are able to determine what our country’s spending value is and also our monetary value. We still have time that the rates have room to improve, and this year is still at the beginning and hopefully moving in a more positive direction.

  65. Before beginning to work on this project, I already had an inclination to conduct research about the United States’ unemployment & labor and the inflation rate. These two topics interested me the most right off the bat because although I heard that the economy has suffered due to COVID-19, I was unaware of the statistics and how damaging the pandemic truly is and how impactful is has been on people’s day-to-day livelihood.
    Since March of 2020, I always heard news broadcasters, friends, and family talk about how many people were losing their jobs and being laid off due to the devastating effects of the pandemic, but I never really sat down and took the time to see how quickly the unemployment rate was skyrocketing. While conducting research on the unemployment rate, I found that Jerome H. Powell, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, came out with news that the official unemployment rate, 6.3%, declared by the Labor Department was actually inaccurate as there were tons of people who were misclassified as employed workers. Powell stated that the actual unemployment rate was closer to 10%. In order to find the unemployment rate myself, I had to use the U-6 unemployment formula (which includes discouraged workers) and plug in the values. In an article titled ‘What Is the Real Unemployment Rate?’, published by The Balance, the data used for the U-6 unemployment rate is given. Using the U-6 unemployment rate formula, I found that unemployment rate was around 11.1% in January of 2021, as opposed to when the spike in unemployment occurred in April of 2020 (14.7%). This decrease in unemployment is due to the number of businesses reopening with COVID-19 regulations. Finding the unemployment rate was something I was already familiar with, due to taking this course, but this portion of the project has made me feel more comfortable dealing with the numbers and the groups involved in the calculation.
    I was also interested in how the pandemic affected the inflation rate over the past year. To find the inflation rate, you must subtract the initial CPI value by the current CPI value and divide that by the initial CPI. I used the CPI values provided by Kiplinger and found that the inflation rate from January 2020 to January 2021 was 1.4%, which was supported by the article by Market Watch, stating that prices have lately been slightly increasing. This information about prices increasing leads us to believe that the inflation rate could be increasing more this year. I enjoyed working on the inflation rate portion of this project because prior to this course, I never really grasped the concept of inflation, but now I am confident in my abilities to calculate the inflation rate and how to interpret it.
    Doing all of this research for the portfolio project has really pushed me to learn more about unemployment rate and inflation rates. It was also very useful to use the FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data) graphs, which depict the information regarding unemployment rates and inflation rates because it really puts into perspective how much these rates change and continue to change throughout time. This information that I learned throughout the project will definitely help me in my future professional life, since I am currently planning on majoring in Business Finance and will probably be put in situations where I need to be knowledgeable on unemployment/labor/inflation. Even if I do not end up going down that career path, I think it is still very beneficial in the long run to know stuff about these topics.

  66. In my groups project we looked into 6 different topics and the two that I worked on which intrigued me the most were both inequality (equity) as well as business cycle (economic fluctuation). Although I was very interested in these topics I had very little to no knowledge about them besides what was given in the video lecture, so I began by doing a bit of research to learn more. Without a second thought I would definitely say that the equations specifically for these two topics were extremely difficult to come up with. The fact that there is no set-in stone equation for either of these compared to a topic like unemployment rate made this part very difficult. However, finding qualitative information on the topics was fairly easy and quite informative. Learning about economic fluctuation and business cycles brought memories back of previous conversations that I have had with my dad who is a business owner about timing of when to enter the market and make purchases. I’ve always been told when dealing with money to watch the market and by investments at a low price point and sell high to make profit. This was a basic principle that was instilled in me at a young age and in order to do this successfully one must keep a close eye on the economy which I feel ties in perfectly with this dealing with economic fluctuations. Another connection I felt was easy to make during this project was the fact that I have always felt economic inequality is unfair and should be worked toward limiting in a greater way. Both of my parents have always supported those who work hard always regardless of the situations they may be brought up in and the opportunities they may or may not have. Seeing that there were so many people in Illinois who were deprived of the opportunity to work displayed clearly by the income they make was hard to believe and truly made me feel sympathetic towards those lower income families. Why is it that the rich continue to get richer while poor hardworking or middle-class hard-working people always struggle to make it up the food chain and find financial stability and comfort in their life? One question I did have about both topics is what is a good way to formulate a soldi equation to explain what is going on in a story when an equation or common way isn’t available? Lastly, I plan on using the information I learned in both inequality and economic fluctuation to begin trading stocks. I feel as though the stock game in class is also a great way to begin to get a basic understanding of the stock market and economy but bringing together the information on economic fluctuation and when the market may me in a good or bad place could really help out in a way that puts your money to work in a way one might not need too. Also, if those who are less fortunate, and experience economic inequality are given a chance to learn this information on both economic fluctuations and stocks they could help better their lives and generations ahead by taking this knowledge and applying it in the best way they know how to create a solid foundation.

  67. For this project, my group member and I worked on each topic collectively. We decided it would be best to go through each topic together to have a better overall understanding of the material within the topics. The first topic we looked over was the U.S. GDP in 2020. I found an article published by the UN News that looked at the expected GDP of the U.S. for 2021. The article goes into depth about how the pandemic has greatly affected our economy and that while global reports project an increase in 2021, there remain substantial risks, and the recovery is expected to be subdued. My groupmate and I calculated the annual and quarterly in 2020 and our answer reflected the article. In other words, 2020’s GPD was appalling.
    The second topic that we reviewed was labor & unemployment in the United States, the article we used, looked over, and analyzed was an article by which looked over the unemployment percentage. We calculated U-3 and labor force participation with which we achieved the U-3 unemployment percentage of 6.3% in January 2021. With this past year in the midst of a pandemic, it really was sad to see so many jobs lost throughout the country. Though at a current 6.3% unemployment we as a country economically have seen unemployment go down significantly more since the past 14.8% unemployment rate back in April 2020.
    The third topic was on Inflation which I found to be the most interesting topic of them all because the article we related to looked over how Joe Biden’s proposed plan of the $1.9 trillion dollar relief package could spur an outbreak of inflation. As the years have gone by, we have seen a huge spike in the inflation rate. My groupmate and I calculated a 1.4% inflation rate with which we compared it to our article on that reviewed CPI change. More specifically it looked over what the FEDs & Banks did to keep the economy in check.
    The last and final topic we review was business cycles. By looking and calculating GDP Fluctuations throughout the year 2020. More specifically, looking at the expansions and recessionary periods. We looked at two articles. one that looked at the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economics and how they determined the peak in monthly economic activity in February 2020. The other article went in-depth about the economic projections for 2020, and 2021.
    I feel like overall this project has made me become more aware of what has happened to the economy as a whole and the way it has affected our country and its people. I would say the hard aspect of this project was looking for good sources that corresponded with our end data from previous calculations.

  68. For my project, our group looked at how the GDP, Unemployment rate, Inflation rate, and the Business Cycles in 2020 were affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. For the GDP, my group found that the annual percentage change from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020 was -24.6%, illustrating how brutal the year was for our economy as a whole. To me this negative rate of change is not only representative of the economy, but of the entire country’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our article covers the idea that the impact of COVID-19 is devastating, but states that there is still hope for the economy to recover by 2021 through a 4% expansion. As a result of my groups research, I understand why GDP is a good measure of an economy’s health due to COVID’s impact on the entire planet. My only question is what would hypothetically happen if COVID got worse and never went away? Would that destroy every country’s GDP?
    For the unemployment rate our group found that in January 2021 the number of unemployed people in the United States was 10.1 Million people with a labor force amount being 160.16 Million, thus leading to an unemployment rate of 6.3%. Our results display the aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic, showing that no matter how bad it got we could always recover as an economy from the pandemic. Our article continues this discussion through analyzing the Unemployment Rate percentages throughout 2020 while also sharing the result we calculated for the U-3 Unemployment Rate in January 2021. For me, the unemployment rate has always been something I have been aware of, but never took very seriously due to being ignorant on the topic. However, when I did research on the topic, I discovered how brutal unemployment was throughout 2020 and how it continues to be a threat to our economy due to the presence of the pandemic. Throughout my research I always had a lingering question, if labor force participation reached 100% would there be any jobs available? Would there be any demand in a field of study such as medicine?
    Our group found that that inflation rate rose from January 2020 to January 2021 by 1.4%, as well as that if the rise from Q4 2020 to Q1 2021 were to continue for the entire year then the projected Inflation Rate change for 2021 is 1.03%. Our article talks about how large the increase in the inflation rate over the past year has been as a result of COVID, but also analyzes what future stimulus bills could mean for the future of the economy in the United States. I found that calculating the Inflation Rate was rather challenging due to not really understanding the concept of the rate itself but realized after collecting the data and the article that it explains why prices increase. Especially during a dark time such as COVID when everything is in demand. I really want to find out what the Inflation Rate will look lie after the pandemic gets better and our economy is back to normal.
    For Business Cycles our group found that during the recession in 2020, GDP fell by 10.14%. As well as rose during its expansion in 2020 by 8.56%. Our group also found that the inflation fell by -0.36% during 2020’s recession and rose by 1.66% in 2020’s expansion phase. These results further support our intention of this project which is to show how devastating COVID has been on our economy with evidence, but also demonstrate that there is hope for the future. Our articles both provide the exact peaks and troughs during 2020’s recession and expansion. However, they also discuss that newfound hope in a bright future for our country’s economy through estimating the future GDP and Inflation Rate. Comparing both the peaks and troughs for GDP and Inflation Rate proved to be challenging at first, but then I figured out that they both had similar peaks and troughs. I believe I can incorporate these comparisons in my adult life through maintaining the knowledge of Business Cycles and using it in my career in Finance. I will do this through applying the analytical and evidence-based thinking I learned from this project.

    For this project, my group member and I worked on each topic collectively. We decided it would be best to go through each topic together to have a better overall understanding of the material within the topics. The first topic we looked over was the U.S. GDP in 2020. I found an article published by the UN News that looked at the expected GDP of the U.S. for 2021. The article goes into depth about how the pandemic has greatly affected our economy and that while global reports project an increase in 2021, there remain substantial risks, and the recovery is expected to be subdued. My groupmate and I calculated the annual and quarterly in 2020 and our answer reflected the article. In other words, 2020’s GPD was appalling.
    The second topic that we reviewed was labor & unemployment in the United States, the article we used, looked over, and analyzed was an article by which looked over the unemployment percentage. We calculated U-3 and labor force participation with which we achieved the U-3 unemployment percentage of 6.3% in January 2021. With this past year in the midst of a pandemic, it really was sad to see so many jobs lost throughout the country. Though at a current 6.3% unemployment we as a country economically have seen unemployment go down significantly more since the past 14.8% unemployment rate back in April 2020.
    The third topic was on Inflation which I found to be the most interesting topic of them all because the article we related to looked over how Joe Biden’s proposed plan of the $1.9 trillion dollar relief package could spur an outbreak of inflation. As the years have gone by, we have seen a huge spike in the inflation rate. My groupmate and I calculated a 1.4% inflation rate with which we compared it to our article on that reviewed CPI change. More specifically it looked over what the FEDs & Banks did to keep the economy in check.
    The last and final topic we review was business cycles. By looking and calculating GDP Fluctuations throughout the year 2020. More specifically, looking at the expansions and recessionary periods. We looked at two articles. one that looked at the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economics and how they determined the peak in monthly economic activity in February 2020. The other article went in-depth about the economic projections for 2020, and 2021.
    I feel like overall this project has made me become more aware of what has happened to the economy as a whole and the way it has affected our country and its people. I would say the hard aspect of this project was looking for good sources that corresponded with our end data from previous calculations.

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