The overall change in the Nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Dips in the change indicate possible recessions.
U.S. Durables Rise in February
Published Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
A new Commerce report indicates that orders for U.S. durable goods has risen unexpectedly 3.4% in February on the demand for machinery, computers, and defense equipment. This is the biggest increase in a year and the first in seven months according to the Commerce Department. This report also stated that there are some improvements in retail sales, including residential construction and home sales. Buyers seeing deals in the housing market are driving sales up 4.7%. On the back of this news, stock index futures rose and treasury yields were up two base points from yesterday. Some experts see this as an indicator of economic recovery.
The growth of the Real GDP, the size of an economy adjusted for price changes and inflation, has been slowing for a number of years. As of 2007, the Real GDP only increased 2.0% and in 2008 the GDP increased 1.1%. Contributing to the growth slowdown is the negative trade balance which actually shrank for the second year in a row from its sharp decline. As the recession grew, Americans bought fewer imports, which normally would be a good thing. However, at the same time, the rate of change in US exports also declined (not as great as imports hence the negative shrinkage) as the annual rate in change for export totals narrowed from $15.4 billion increase in 2007 to $1.3 billion increase in 2008.
Bank Proposal Calls for $1 Trillion
Published Monday, March 16th, 2009
The Treasury Secretary is soon to announce the details to a plan calling for a public-private partnership: government financing buying up to $1 trillion in toxic bank assets and a comprehensive review of banks to determine how much of the remaining financial sector bailout funds will be needed for troubled banks. Geithner stated on Friday that the plan calls for the remainder of the $700 billion financial bailout fund, yet other bank stability plans may require a request of another $750 billion new funds found as a placeholder in President Obama’s budget.
By restructuring the bad assets held by the banks, the government hopes to increase the banks’ lending potential, thereby allowing businesses to increase investment and hire workers, which could increase consumer demand and overall economic health. The real gross domestic product contracted 6.2% in the last quarter of 2008, after a third quarter decrease by 0.5%, offset by the increase in government spending and a decrease in imports.
The Federal Reserve - http://www.federalreserve.gov/default.htm
The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. It was founded by Congress in 1913 to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. Over the years, its role in banking and the economy has expanded.
The Federal Reserve Education - http://www.federalreserveeducation.org/FRED/?CFID=1495634&CFTOKEN=32117226
Here you can find links to instructional materials and tools that can increase your understanding of the Federal Reserve, economics and financial education. All of the Fed web sites, curriculum, newsletters, booklets and other resources are free.