In this newsletter, we use a graph to visualize the relationship between the monetary base and the consumer price index, map the population and commercial banks in the U.S. federal reserve districts, share some tips for playing FREDcast, and quiz you on the tools of monetary policy.
Focus on Budget Deficits and Surpluses
This assignment provides instructions on building the graph below and includes writing prompts for out-of-class assignments.
Using GeoFRED to Compare Government Budget Balances
This assignment provides instructions on creating the government lending/borrowing map below and suggests prompts for in-class discussion. See how you do on our sample discussion questions below.
Net government lending/borrowing by Nation
Click on the interactive map above to view an interactive version
Question: Name two countries that reported a government budget surplus (as a fraction of GDP) in 2017.
Learning about GDP components to forecast Real GDP
The components of GDP determine its value. In the third quarter of 2018, an increase in government spending resulted in an increase in the growth rate of GDP. Read on for more details and a list of resources to become a better FREDcast forecaster.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, “Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018.”
“The increase in real GDP in the third quarter reflected positive contributions from … state and local government spending, federal government spending …”
Resources to become a better FREDcaster
- FRED® Blog: “War: Spending spikes and new steady states: Historical data on how conflict has changed U.S. government expenditures“
- Economic Synopses: “U.S. Fiscal Policy: Reality and Outlook”
- Economic Synopses: “What Are the Fiscal Costs of a (Great) Recession?“
- Page One Economics®: “Individual Income Tax: The Basics and New Changes“
Quiz Yourself on the Different Tools of Fiscal Policy
Q1. As of the last available observation, which is the source of the largest volume of tax revenue?
Q2. When were tax receipts on corporate income the lowest among the four sources of tax revenue plotted?
Q.3 What percentage of total tax receipts do taxes from the rest of the world represent?
Q1. As of the last available observation, which is the largest category of government spending?
Q2. When was government consumption the highest among the three categories of government spending plotted?
Q3. In which decade were interest payments at their highest, relative to the two other categories of government spending plotted?
Q1. As of the last available observation, who holds the largest share of U.S. federal debt?
Q2. When did the share of U.S. federal debt held by foreign private investors peak?
Q3. What has been the largest share of federal debt held by Federal Reserve Banks? When was that value recorded?
Now that you’ve aced this quiz, give it to your students using this dashboard. To customize this dashboard, just click the “Save to My Account” button at the top of the dashboard.