US Economy: Most Popular Articles
Real GDP is the economic output of a country with the effects of inflation taken out while nominal GDP leaves it in. Here's how to calculate real GDP.
Definition of a business cycle, including the four stages. The economic indicators to watch. What GDP growth rate you should expect in each phase.
A traditional economy relies on hunting, fishing and agriculture for its base, and is guided by traditions. A large part of the United States was in a traditional economy until the Great Depression.
How much each President actually contributed to the $17.7 trillion U.S. debt all the way back to Woodrow Wilson. Who added the most percentage-wise.
Obamacare has many pros and cons because it affects everyone differently. Find out what both sides say so you can make up your own mind.
GDP is the measurement of a country's total output. Here's how it's used, what's included, how it differs from GNP, real vs nominal GDP, & per capita.
The 5 determinants of demand are price, income, prices of related goods, tastes, and expectations. A 6th, for aggregate demand, is number of buyers.
Is the U.S. dollar in danger of an imminent collapse? Find out what would cause it, what would happen next, and the best way to protect your finances.
Here's national debt by year, compared to the size of the economy and whether there was a recession, war or other catastrophe.
Fiscal Year (FY) differentiates an organization's financial year from the calendar year. The Federal government FY 2014 began 10/1/2013, and FY 2015 starts 10/1/2014.
A command economy subjugates individual self-interest to a greater societal or economic goals. It's great at mobilizing economic growth quickly.
The value of the U.S. dollar can be measured in three ways - exchange rates, Treasury yields and foreign currency reserves. Here's how they differ.
The Federal poverty level is the guideline that determines who can receive assistance. It sometimes refers to the poverty threshold, the number of poor.
What are the four major components of GDP? Find out what makes up those components, and why personal consumption drives nearly 70% of the economy.
The U.S. imports $2.744 trillion and exports $2.272 trillion. The biggest components of both are oil and consumer goods.
A market economy is where production of goods and services are regulated by the laws of supply and demand.
Trade protectionism is how countries raise tariffs and reduce imports to protect their domestic industries. Here's pros, cons and examples.
There are three major causes of economic inflation: demand-pull, cost-push and monetary expansion. Here's what creates those conditions.
The GDP growth rate tells you how fast a county's economy is growing. It compares real GDP from one quarter to the next.
Obamacare is the Affordable Care Act. In a nutshell, it requires you to have health insurance or pay a tax. Here's what you need to know now to avoid it.
The 9/11 attacks had long-ranging economic impacts. Not only did they deepen the 2001 recession, they led to the War on Terror. These costs helped create the largest debt in U.S. history.
The FY 2015 US Military Budget is $495.6 billion, second only to Social Security. The true cost is $738.8 billion. Why it's so high, and how it's grown since 2006.
The average credit card debt per American is $3,617 as of July 2014. Here's how that compares to the past, and what it means about the economy.
U.S GDP by year measures the output of the U.S. economy during the years since the Great Depression. Compare to growth rate and GDP per capita,
Foreign direct investment, or FDI, is when businesses from one country invest in businesses in a foreign country. How it works, and the pros and cons.
Why the value of a dollar today keeps shrinking. How to calculate the value of a dollar.
A U.S. economic collapse could occur within weeks, as it almost did on September 17, 2008. Several things could cause it, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Economic recession is caused by many factors that then lead to a loss of confidence. Here's examples from the 2008, 2001 and prior recessions.
Quantitative Easing explained, including QE1, QE2, QE3, QE4 and Operation Twist. Why the Federal Reserve adopted this policy and how it works.
The history of gold prices since the Roman Empire show that the precious metal's record-high prices in 2011 were part of an asset bubble.
The $17 trillion national debt is owned by Social Security, the Fed, and foreign investors. Here's the major owners as of June 2014.
A definition of fiscal policy with links to descriptions of the components of fiscal policy, including revenue, taxes, mandatory spending, discretionary spending, and the budget deficit.
The specifics of the auto bailout received by GM, Ford and Chrysler. What the Big 3 promised to give back in return. How it affected the economy.
NAFTA's purpose was to increase trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Find out the history of NAFTA, and whether its achieved its purpose.
A mixed economy seeks to combine the advantages of market, command and traditional economies. Examples.
NAFTA cost many workers their jobs in the U.S., and led to exploitation of workers in Mexico. Find out the 6 problems of NAFTA.
What caused and finally ended the Great Depression of 1929. Life and unemployment during the depression.
Definition of the year-over-year growth rate, how to calculate it, and why using it gives a better sense of a trend than comparing month to month.
There are 4 main types of inflation, from creeping to hyperinflation. In addition, there's stagflation, deflation, as well as wage and asset inflation (food, gas and oil). Core inflation is used by the Federal Reserve to control them all.
The Stock Market Crash of 1929 kicked off the Great Depression. Here's the facts behind this devastating crash, what caused it and its effects.
A summary of the most popular unemployment solutions, which ones work, and which are the most cost effective solutions.
The advantages of NAFTA for Mexico, Canada and the U.S. include an increase in trade which has contributed to economic growth.
The Dow historical closing high is 17,265.99 set September 18, 2014. Here's the DJIA highs and lows during every business cycle since the Depression.
The US debt is $17.7 trillion, the largest in the world. Here's the three main reasons it grew so large, and how it will damage U.S. economic growth.
The U.S. Federal budget deficit will be $564 billion in FY 2015. That's a third of the all-time record deficit of $1.4 trillion, set in FY 2009.
Why was Katrina the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history? It struck the heavily-populated City of New Orleans and the Gulf oil fields.
What was in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, and how well did it succeed?
The U.S. debt to China is $1.25 trillion. Here's why America owes so much China, and what happens if China calls in its loans.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act regulates the practices of Wall Street to prevent another financial crisis. Here's a summary of the Act.
Elastic demand is when a price change creates a larger percentage change in the quantity demanded.
Inelastic demand is when people's buying habits don't respond very much to changes in the price.
Competitive advantage is what makes you better than anyone else. Here's the 3 strategies that work: cost leadership, differentiation and focus.
High gas prices are caused by futures investments, not supply and demand. Find out why prices are high, and why they rose from 2008 to the present.
The European Union (EU) is one of the largest economies in the world. Here's how it's similar to, and different from, the U.S.
A budget deficit occurs whenever a government spends more than it makes, which is nearly every year. Find out why and how it leads to debt.
Recent news developments lead many to believe another depression is inevitable if it hasn't started already. Here's the arguments pro and con. Page 2.
NATO is an alliance of 28 members that agree to defend its North Atlantic members. It's being called into action thanks to the crisis in Ukraine.
Mexico's economy is becoming more attractive to investors, as President Pena Nieto opens up its energy industries.
Real GDP per capita is the economic output of a country by person taking out the effect of inflation.
The Federal funds rate is the target interest rate banks charge each other to borrow funds overnight to maintain the Federal reserve requirement. The Fed funds rate is critical because it dictates the availability of capital in the economy. That's how the Federal Reserve uses the Fed funds rate is to manage the U.S. economy, especially inflation.
A definition of interest rates, including the APR. How interest rates work to stimulate or slow economic growth.
Here's 10 reasons why the U.S. economy isn't in imminent danger of collapsing.
A monopoly is the sole provider of a good or service. Here's 4 ways they prevent free trade, 1 reason they're needed, and their history in the U.S.
Your Obamacare costs depends on 5 factors: income, family size, age, location and type of plan. Here's what you need to know before buying insurance.
The budget deficits for each President all the way back to President Woodrow Wilson. Presidents Bush and Obama contributed the most to the debt.
The EU is the world's largest economy, while the U.S. is the country with the largest economy. Those two leaders are followed by China, India and Japan.
Cost-push inflation causes rising prices by driving up the costs of supply. It doesn't occur very often, but when it does, it's devastating.
Structural unemployment is defined as unemployment caused by a mismatch between jobs and skills, or other long-term changes in the economy.
Expansionary monetary policy is when a central bank increases the money supply to stimulate economic growth.
A brief history of the gold standard, including when the U.S. went off the gold standard, and why.
Obamacare explained in a way that's simple enough for even your kids. The basic facts that you need to know now.
The 3 main types of unemployment are structural, frictional and cyclical. To get 5 types, add seasonal and classical. But there's really 9 types in all.
Inflation is defined as when prices rise over an extended period of time. Here's what causes it, the different types, and how it's measured.
The definition of cultural diversity, and why it matters in the workplace. How diversity, if managed correctly, can increase profits.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI Index) measures inflation each month. Here's how it's calculated and the importance of the Core CPI.
The unemployment rate for August 2014 fell to 6.1%. Here's the current and original unemployment rate statistics for every month since April 2007.
Capital goods are the machinery, equipment and buildings used by businesses to create supply. Find examples and how it differs from consumer goods.
The trade deficit is when a country imports more than it exports. Find out the causes, the effects, and the difference from a trade surplus.
An economic recession is when growth slows, usually due to a fall-off in consumer demand. As sales drop off, businesses stop expanding.
China's growing economy makes it a major influence on the U.S. economy. China's low standard of living allows it to export cheaply, keeping U.S. inflation low. China is the largest foreign buyer of U.S. Treasuries, which keeps U.S. interest rates low. Find out how the economies of China and the U.S. are interdependent.
What was the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression, why did the Dust Bowl happen, and could the Dust Bowl happen again?
The history of U.S. recessions since the Great Depression. Their causes, length, levels of GDP (original and revise), and unemployment rates.
Will the chronic dollar decline cause a collapse? How to protect yourself from it.
Liquidity is the amount of capital available, and how easily it can be used. Here's how central banks and businesses manage liquidity.
NASDAQ definition including what the acronym stands for. NASDAQ bubbles and crashes. The difference between NASDAQ, Dow and S&P 500.
The consequences of inflation and the effects of inflation on buying power.
U.S. income inequality has worsened significantly in the past 30 years. What is the cause, what can be done about it, and how does it affect you?
An inverted yield curve is when interest rates on short-term loans are higher than the ones on long-term loans. Here's why that predicts a recession.
The LIBOR rate is what banks charge each other for short-term loans. It's determined by ICE from a survey of banks. It hovers near the Fed funds rate.
The Federal Reserve System is America's central bank. Its dual-mandate is to prevent inflation and reduce unemployment using monetary policy. Here's how.
Market capitalization is a company's stock price times the number of shares outstanding. Here's the 3 types, top 20 companies by market cap, and how it's used.
Deflation is when prices fall. Here are causes, how it's measured, how it's stopped, and why it's worse than inflation. Japan as an example.
The U.S. Treasury yield curve compares the yields of short-term Treasury bills with long-term Treasury notes. Here's how to use this to predict the future.
Demand-pull inflation is the most common cause of inflation. It's when the demand for a good or service becomes much greater than supply, allowing producers to raise prices. Find out the circumstances that create demand-pull inflation as illustrated by examples.
GDP per capita is the economic output (Gross Domestic Product) of a country by person. Compare the 2013 rankings for the ten richest and ten poorest countries using GDP per capita.
IPO, or initial public offering, is when a company first sells shares of stock to raise a large amount of funds. Here's the pros, cons and what it means to you.
What is the Federal Reserve doing to control inflation? Find out the tools the Fed uses to manage inflation and even the expectation of inflation.
Mortgages rates have been rising since falling to a 200-year low in 2012 . Here's how falling demand for U.S. Treasury notes makes sure that continues.
The Obama Economic Stimulus Plan sent out $13 billion in stimulus checks in 2009, part of $65 billion in tax relief.
The balance of trade is the difference between a country's exports and its imports. Balance of trade vs payments. Dangers of trade surplus. Components
The euro to dollar conversion is how many dollars a euro will buy. On September 4 the euro dropped 1%, to $1.2954, when the ECB announced QE Lite.
Jobs outsourcing is how U.S. companies hire lower-paid workers in emerging markets instead of Americans.Here's the different types of outsourcing, and their impact.
The ideal GDP growth rate is one that enable the economy to grow at a healthy rate. If growth is too fast, the economy risks inflation. If growth is too slow, the economy risks recession or even depression.
Treasury bills, bonds and notes have different maturities. Notes are issued at 2,3,5 and 10 years. Treasury notes fund the U.S. debt.
These 6 signs tell you how the economy is doing right now, and whether it's about to get worse.
Exchange rates determine how much the dollar, or any other foreign currency, is worth compared to another country's currency.
The US trade deficit with China is the largest in the world, and a symptom of global economic imbalance. Find out why there a deficit, and what is being done to correct it.
The economy rebounded an astonishing 4.6% from the first quarter's downturn. Check here to find BEA revisions in GDP going back to 2011.
Why is Black Friday called Black Friday? The meaning of the name started out as a negative, but was later turned to a positive. Find out both meanings, and where the term
Facts about the NAFTA agreement, including history of NAFTA, the benefits and problems with NAFTA for its members Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
U.S. Treasury yields are determined by demand for the bonds themselves. As the bond prices rise, the yield falls. Here's why, and an outlook.
Monetary policy manages inflation and unemployment by controlling interest rates and the supply of money and credit. It is directed by a nation's central bank.
Stagflation is when economic growth stagnates while inflation is rising. It only happens under unusual circumstances, like wage-price controls.
Gross National Product (GNP) is the total economic output of a country's citizens and companies, no matter where they are located.
Manufacturing jobs create new products from raw materials. They pay well, but are disappearing thanks to robotics.
The difference between a stock market correction and a stock market crash.
Not every jobless person is counted as unemployed. That's why you must know the difference between real, natural and structural unemployment.
The cost of living compares how much income you need to live in various locations, or across time. Find out the best indicators for your needs.
Find out the similarities and differences between the economic policies of President Obama and President Bush.
Mortgage-backed securities are tradeable assets backed by mortgages, allowing banks more cash to make loans. All went well, until housing prices fell.
An introduction to the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities derivatives and their exchanges.
A current account deficit occurs when a country has to rely on foreign investors to fund its economic growth. Here's its causes and effects.
Trickle-down economics is a theory that says reducing taxes on businesses will trickle down to benefit all. Did it work, and would it today?
The War on Terror costs nearly $1.5 trillion from FY 2001-FY 2014. That's on top of the costs to run the Department of Defense, the VA and Homeland Security.
Black Tuesday (October 29, 1929) was the fourth and last day of the stock market crash of 1929. Panicked investors stampeded out of stocks, kicking off the Great Depression.
Cyclical unemployment is when demand falls, and businesses lay off workers. It occurs during the contraction phase of the business cycle. It can be a vicious, downward spiral that can only be stopped by Federal government intervention.
What is banking? The definition of banking, its critical role in the US economy, and how that has changed.
Oil prices are determined by commodities market trading. The 3 factors that affect them are supply, demand and reserves. How that affects traders' perceptions.
How much does NASA cost? What's the impact of the NASA budget on the U.S. economy.
Hedge funds are private investment funds that promise great rewards, but also present great risks to both investors and the economy.
An asset bubble is when there is an inflation in specific assets, such as real estate or commodities. They don't show up in inflation measures.
Interest rates are determined by the Fed funds rate and demand for U.S. Treasury notes.
Hyperinflation is double-digit inflation. It usually caused by a government policy of printing too much money. There's a big difference between hyperinflation and inflation.
The inflation rate was -0.2% in August, while the core rate was below the Fed's target. Here's what these warning signs mean.
Usually, when stock prices go up, bond values go down. Investors like stocks when the economy is strong, while bonds are a safe haven investment.
Health care reform will cost billions, but will also save the economy billions in sick time, emergency room costs and improved child care. Find out the economic impact of health care reform.
Contractionary monetary policy is when central banks raise interest rates and reduce the money supply to avoid inflation. Here's some examples.
The U.S. trade deficit in 2012 was just under $539.514 billion. It was driven by imports of oil, consumer products and automobiles. The top four trading partners are Canada, China, Mexico and Japan.
In August 2014, the real unemployment rate was 12.0%, double the reported rate. Why? It includes the discouraged and part-timers who'd prefer full-time jobs.
Securities are stocks, bonds and other investments. They allow ownership of without taking physical possession and are highly liquid.
The American Dream was first outlined in the Declaration of Independence, which legally protects each person's desire to pursue happiness.
An easy-to-understand summary of Obamacare and how it affects your particular circumstance.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) removes export barriers between the U.S. and 11 countries that border the Pacific Ocean. Find out the pros/cons.
The U.S. debt increased $7 trillion during the Obama Administration. But how much did Obamacare, the Stimulus and other programs really add?
A stock market crash is when the stock market loses more than 10% in value in one day. Here's examples, and what not to do.
The Fed's latest outlook says the economy will grow between 2.1 - 2.3% in 2014. Here's what other agencies say about growth, job creation and oil production.
President Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard in 1973. How the gold standard works, what are the pros and cons, and why we can't go back.
Obamacare works for you by making sure you can get insurance. Beyond that, it depends on your particular circumstance. Find out how it works for you.
Money has value, but who determines how valuable money is? Find out the different ways money is valued, and why the value of money keeps changing.
Obamacare requires 10 essential health benefits. Does your insurance provide them?