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Economic Outlook Estimates

This solution focuses on the January 29, 2010, first estimate of U.S. real gross domestic product (Real GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2009, reported by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The current data and historical data are explained. The meaning of GDP and potential impacts of changes of GDP are explored. This solution will also raise questions about the impact of the current level of growth on the U.S. economy and individuals.

Here is an interesting article that was published the same day:

Rampell Catherine. "US Economy Grew at Vigorous Pace in Last Quarter." New York Times January 29, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2010 from:


Each month, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, releases an estimate of the level and growth of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States.

This solution focuses on the BEA's "first estimate" of real GDP released on January 29, 2010, for the fourth quarter (October-December of 2009. Understanding the level and rate of growth of the economy's output (GDP) helps to better understand growth, employment trends, the health of the business sector, and consumer well-being.

Current Key Economic Indicators (as of January 29, 2010)


On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI-U increased 0.1 percent in December 2009 after rising 0.4 percent in November. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in December after being unchanged in November. (January 29, 2010)

Employment and Unemployment

U.S. nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-85,000) in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0 percent. Employment fell in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, while temporary help services and health care added jobs. (January 8, 2010)

Real GDP

U.S. real gross domestic product (real GDP) increased at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 (from Q3 to Q4). In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent. (January 29, 2010)

Federal Reserve

The FOMC will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period. (December 16, 2009)

The size of the US. economy increased at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. The economy is growing and prosperity just around the corner. Right? Read more about the Q4 2009 GDP data and decide for yourself:

Solution Expectations:

-4 to no more than 5 pages double spaced Times New Roman 12 point
-Answer the following;

1. What data from the BEA announcement supports the NBER decision that the U.S. is in a recession?

2. What measures did the U.S. government take to increase GDP during this time?

3. Recent GDP Data in Detail

Table 1 of the BEAĆ¢??s January 29, 2010 real GDP estimates is a detailed breakdown of the data by sector and specific types of goods and services, investments, and trade, from 2006 through 2009.

Go to Table 1 at:

Take a good look at the data. What are the areas of growth and decline? Was the data (growth rates) consistent throughout the period of time? Summarize your interpretation of the data in Table 1.

915 words plus four references

Solution Preview

BMQ # 356156
1. What data from the BEA announcement supports the NBER decision that the U.S. is in a recession?
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has defined the term 'recession' as a considerable decline, within the financial system, of financial activities which last more than a couple months, and can be felt hardest within production industries, real income, employment, as well as other displays. Recessions begin when economies (both domestic and global) reach peaks of activities; recessions end when economies reach their trough. Gross domestic product (GDP) is defined as the amount produced of services and goods by property and labor within the US; according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) first estimate GDP growth was at 3.7 percent (Econedlink, 2010).
In 2008, NBER affirmed that as of December 2007, the United States was in a recession. At that juncture, production within the States considerably slowed from earlier quarters; additionally, in the fourth quarter of 2008, there was an acceleration of negative growth. Originally, the announcement by the NBER that the US was currently in recession did not make sense as we had not hit two consecutive negative growth periods; however, the NBER believe the economy had deteriorated enough to make the judgment call. Even though the gross domestic product (GDP) has remained positive since the end of 2009, the NBER has not stated the recession has ended, since ...

Solution Summary

The economic outlook estimates.