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Teacher Resources: Economic Barometer

These thirteen benchmarks are provided as an overview of the performance of the economy. Each one is accompanied by its definition and explanation of its composition and use. Click the links below the row title to see longer time series of the data, definitions, sources, and uses. Dates of key political events, major legislative, administrative, and Federal Reserve policy actions are designated on the graphs by red dots. These benchmarks, especially in combination, are intended to help teachers and students and others readily locate and observe the fundamentals of the evolving national economy. (To make these measures available in easily useful form, many other series and components of the economy and statements of analysis have been forgone.)

Quarterly Data 2015
Q4
2015
Q3
2015
Q2
2015
Q1
2014
Q4
2014
Q3
2014
Q2
2014
Q1
2013
Q4

Real GDP (2009 $) Billions

Graphs:
Quarterly 2000 - Present
Annual 1929 - 2015
$16442.30 $16394.20 $16324.30 $16304.80 $16311.60 $16150.60 $15985.70 $15902.95 $15965.60

% Change in Real GDP from preceding period

0.70% 1.50% 3.70% 0.20% 2.80% 3.50% 4.00% -2.10% 2.60%

Real GDP/Capita (2009 $)

Graphs:
Quarterly 2000 - Present
Annual 1929 - 2015
$56178.00 $56043.00 $55740.00 $55096.00 $51042.00 $50633.00 $50212.00 $49810.00 $50236.00
Monthly Data 1/2016 12/2015 11/2015 10/2015 9/2015 8/2015 7/2015 6/2015 5/2015

Seasonally Adjust Money Supply

Graphs:
Monthly 2000 - Present
3.00 3.00 3.00 3035.90 3050.10 3060.00 3035.50 3007.70 2986.50

Consumer Price Index 1985=100

Graphs:
Monthly 2000 - Present
236.91 236.52 237.33 237.83 237.95 238.31 238.65 238.64 237.80

Inflation Rate

Graphs:
Monthly 2000 - Present
0.00% -0.10% 0.10% 0.20% -0.20% -0.10% 0.10% 0.30% 0.04%

Unemployment Rate

Graphs:
Monthly 2000 - Present
4.90% 5.00% 5.00% 5.10% 5.00% 5.00% 5.30% 5.30% 5.50%

Prime Interest Rate

Graphs:
Monthly 2000 - Present
3.25% 3.25% 3.25% 3.25% 3.25% 3.25% 3.25% 3.25% 3.25%

DOW Jones Industrial Monthly High

Graphs:
Monthly 2000 - Present
16.00 17.00 17.00 16272.60 16578.62 16523.08 17696.74 17638.12 18017.82

Consumer Sentiment Index (1985 = 100)

Graphs:
Monthly 2000 - Present
92.00 92.60 91.30 90.00 87.20 91.90 93.00 96.10 90.70
Yearly Data 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007

U.S. Federal Debt (billions)

Graph:
Annual Data 1969 - 2015
$18.00 $18.00 $17351.90 $16400.00 $10447.00 $9018.00 $7554.00 $5802.90 $5035.10

U.S. Federal Deficit (billions)

Graph:
Annual Data 1969 - 2015
$564.00 $438.00 $680.00 $1089.00 $1500.00 $1500.00 $1413.60 $454.80 $160.70