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.
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.
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 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.
How much each President actually contributed to the $17 trillion U.S. debt all the way back to President Woodrow Wilson.
Definition of a business cycle, including the four stages. The economic indicators to watch. What GDP growth rate you should expect in each phase.
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.
The value of the U.S. dollar can be measured in three ways - exchange rates, Treasury yields and foreign currency reserves. A
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.
The Federal poverty level is the guideline that determines who can receive assistance. It sometimes refers to the poverty threshold, the number of poor.
Here's national debt by year, compared to the size of the economy and whether there was a recession, war or other catastrophe.
The 5 determinants of demand are price, income, prices of related goods, tastes, and expectations. A 6th, for aggregate demand, is number of buyers.
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 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.
Two of the largest components of U.S. imports are oil and consumer goods, which are also its biggest exports.
A market economy is where production of goods and services are regulated by the laws of supply and demand.
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.
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.
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.
Quantitative Easing explained, including QE1, QE2, QE3, QE4 and Operation Twist. Why the Federal Reserve adopted this policy and how it works.
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.
Trade protectionism is how countries try to protect their domestic industries by raising tariffs and reducing imports. Here's pros, cons and examples.
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.
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,
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.
Why the value of a dollar today keeps shrinking. How to calculate the value of a dollar.
A summary of the most popular unemployment solutions, which ones work, and which are the most cost effective solutions.
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.
A mixed economy seeks to combine the advantages of market, command and traditional economies. Examples.
What caused and finally ended the Great Depression of 1929. Life and unemployment during the depression.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Obamacare explained in a way that's simple enough for even your kids. The basic facts that you need to know now.
The advantages of NAFTA for Mexico, Canada and the U.S. include an increase in trade which has contributed to economic growth.
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.
Elastic demand is when a price change creates a larger percentage change in the quantity demanded.
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.
Who owns most of the U.S. national debt? Surprise... it's not China, it's the U.S. government. That means it's the American taxpayer, which is you!
What was the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression, why did the Dust Bowl happen, and could the Dust Bowl happen again?
What was in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, and how well did it succeed?
Here's 10 reasons why the U.S. economy isn't in imminent danger of collapsing.
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.
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.
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 U.S. debt to China in August 2013 was $1.268 trillion, 23% of the debt owned by foreigners. Find out why America is in debt to China, and what would happen if China called in its loans.
Capital goods are the machinery, equipment and buildings used by businesses to create supply. Find examples and how it differs from consumer goods.
Mexico's economy is becoming more attractive to investors, as President Pena Nieto opens up its energy industries.
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.
Competitive advantage is what makes you better than anyone else. Here's the 3 strategies that work: cost leadership, differentiation and focus.
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.
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.
Inelastic demand is when people's buying habits don't respond very much to changes in the price.
Liquidity is the amount of capital available, and how easily it can be used. Here's how central banks and businesses manage liquidity.
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.
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.
A definition of interest rates, including the APR. How interest rates work to stimulate or slow economic growth.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI Index) measures inflation each month. Here's how it's calculated and the importance of the Core CPI.
The definition of cultural diversity, and why it matters in the workplace. How diversity, if managed correctly, can increase profits.
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.
The US debt, at $17 trillion, is the largest in the world. Its grew so much because the Federal government kept spending, but interest rates on Treasuries stayed low.
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 Federal Reserve System is America's central bank. Its dual-mandate is to prevent inflation and reduce unemployment using monetary policy. Here's how.
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.
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.
Real GDP per capita is the economic output of a country by person taking out the effect of inflation.
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.
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.
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.
NASDAQ definition including what the acronym stands for. NASDAQ bubbles and crashes. The difference between NASDAQ, Dow and S&P 500.
A brief history of the gold standard, including when the U.S. went off the gold standard, and why.
Will the chronic dollar decline cause a collapse? How to protect yourself from it.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
The history of U.S. recessions since the Great Depression. Their causes, length, levels of GDP (original and revise), and unemployment rates.
Structural unemployment is defined as unemployment caused by a mismatch between jobs and skills, or other long-term changes in the economy.
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.
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.
The consequences of inflation and the effects of inflation on buying power.
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.
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.
Exchange rates determine how much the dollar, or any other foreign currency, is worth compared to another country's currency.
These 6 signs tell you how the economy is doing right now, and whether it's about to get worse.
What is banking? The definition of banking, its critical role in the US economy, and how that has changed.
An introduction to the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities derivatives and their exchanges.
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?
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.
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.
Market cap is a company's stock prices times the number of shares outstanding. Here's the 3 types, top 20 companies and how to use market cap.
Oil prices are determined by commodities market trading. The 3 factors that affect them are supply, demand and reserves. How that affects traders' perceptions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mortgage-backed securities are tradeable assets backed by mortgages, allowing banks more cash to make loans. All went well, until housing prices fell.
The economy rebounded an astonishing 4.2% from the first quarter's downturn. Check here to find BEA revisions in GDP going back to 2011.
Interest rates are determined by the Fed funds rate and demand for U.S. Treasury notes.
A current account deficit occurs when a country has to rely on foreign investors to fund its economic growth. Find out the causes and consequences of a current account deficit.
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 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.
Manufacturing jobs create new products from raw materials. They pay well, but are disappearing thanks to robotics.
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.
Gross National Product (GNP) is the total economic output of a country's citizens and companies, no matter where they are located.
The unemployment rate varies with the business cycle. Find out how the government has tried to reduce unemployment since 1929, what's worked and what hasn't.
Not every jobless person is counted as unemployed. That's why you must know the difference between real, natural and structural unemployment.
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.
Securities are stocks, bonds and other investments. They allow ownership of without taking physical possession and are highly liquid.
How much does NASA cost? What's the impact of the NASA budget on the U.S. economy.
Supply-side economics is a theory that recommends lower taxes and deregulation to increase supply of capital, jobs, labor and goods/services.
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.
Find out the similarities and differences between the economic policies of President Obama and President Bush.
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?
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.
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.
Expansionary monetary policy is when a central bank increases the money supply to stimulate economic growth.
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
The American Dream was first outlined in the Declaration of Independence, which legally protects each person's desire to pursue happiness.
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.
The difference between a stock market correction and a stock market crash.
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.
Stagflation is when economic growth stagnates while inflation is rising. It only happens under unusual circumstances, like wage-price controls.
The U.S. Treasury 10-year note yield is the return on investment. It's so important because it guides other interest rates, like a 15-year mortgage.
How crude oil prices are measured, and how prices impact you and the economy. Recent oil price trends and history.
Definition of the S&P 500, one of the most closely followed stock market indices.
Ceteris Paribus is a Latin phrase that means all other things being equal. It's used to explain the relationship between two variables.
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.
The Gulf Cooperation Council and its members represent the growing power of the Gulf oil-exporting countries. A list of GCC countries include every country in the Arab Peninsula except Yemen.
Facts about the NAFTA agreement, including history of NAFTA, the benefits and problems with NAFTA for its members Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
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.
Here's how the LIBOR rate follows the Fed funds rate...except in April 2008, when its divergence signaled the bottom was falling out of the markets.
Financial derivatives are contracts to buy or sell underlying assets. They include options, swaps and futures contracts. Why they're so dangerous.
A summary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Timeline of how the impact of the Act will roll out.
Deregulation is when the government removes restrictions in an industry. Here's pros, cons and examples in the banking, energy and airline industries.
The Fed lowered the current Federal Reserve interest rate to near zero on December 16 2008, and signals it intends to keep it there until 2015.
Here's 4 simple steps to get Obamacare. You can compare plans now and sign up in November. If eligible, you can get Medicaid or Medicare now.
The national unemployment rate is the number of people looking for a job divided by the number in the labor force. Although it's a lagging indicator, it is critical in guiding fiscal and monetary policy.
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.