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2007 Economic Outlook

I have to write an essay and don't know what they are looking for. here is my assignment: Prepare an 18 month forecast of the six economic indicators( GDP, CPI, Retail sales, Interest rates, capacity utilization, and the unemployment rate) and analyze the expected impact of these on the automobile manufacturing industry.

I understand what each indicator is but what I don't understand is how to start this; like what do they mean by 18 month forecast? Am I supposed to break each indicator down into a monthly analyzation? Any help would be appreciated.

Solution Preview

I suggest you use Internet resources to find the opinions of economists on where these indicators are headed. For example, to forecast interest rates, you may find comments such as:
"A solid reading on credit growth will keep the Fed focused on lifting interest rates soon."
"Rates are now at or above neutral and it is much more difficult to be sufficiently confident to have back-to-back moves."
"The Fed may want to see whether the sharp fall in consumer confidence that ...

Solution Summary

Resources for formulating an 18-month economic forecast of interest rates, capacity utilization, and unemployment.