The Federal Reserve
Research and review trends in inflation (CPI), interest rates (short and long term), GDP and employment over the last year. Then read the latest speech by the Federal Reserve and answer the following short essay questions. While this is not a paper, you must still properly cite your answer and write in full sentences.
- Describe and explain the cause of any inflation (or lack of) over the last year. 2 points
- Describe and explain the trends in unemployment over the last year. 2 points
- Report on the current interest rates. Address the fed funds rate, the ten year treasury rate and the 30 year treasury rate. Explain how and why they have changed over the last year. 2 points
- Describe and explain the shape of the yield curve. What does the curve tell us about the anticipated future of the economy? 4 points
- What is the Federal Reserve’s current view of the general state of the economy? Of employment? Of inflation? 4 points
- What is the current primary concern of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve? How is she addressing that concern? 4 points
- How would you advise the Fed to set interest rates next month? Explain your answer. 2 points
Here are some helpful sites for this assignment:
Inflation and Unemployment: The Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/cpi/
GDP Growth: The Bureau of Economic Analysis http://www.bea.gov/national/
Interest rates: http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h15/data.htm
The yield curve: http://stockcharts.com/charts/YieldCurve.html
The Federal Reserve: http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/default.htm (read the latest FOMC statement and Monetary Policy Report to the Congress; under Reports)
Your total assignment should be 4-7 pages long and submitted in a MS Word document.