# Macroeconomic Measures

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Macroeconomic Measures
The focus of this lecture is the macroeconomic measures. Students should understand the significance of Gross Domestic Product, Price levels, and unemployment in our economic systems. OBJECTIVES 1. Understand price level and how to calculate inflation rate. 2. Measure unemployment rate and explain its content. 3. Define Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and understand GDP computation. 4. Evaluate the validity of GDP as a measure of economic welfare and productivity. TOPICS Please read all following topics. PRICES AND INFLATION UNEMPLOYMENT GDP DEFINITION COMPUTATION OF GDP AND OTHER NATIONAL ACCOUNTS

Price and Inflation One of the macroeconomic goals is price stability. It means that the average price level remains relatively stable. Price level is a weighted average of the prices of all good and services. A price index provides us with a reliable estimate of the price level. The most common price indices adopted by economists are: consumer price index and GDP deflator. Consumer Price index (CPI) tracks the prices of a representative market basket of consumer goods. CPI = (Total dollar expenditure on market basket in current year/ Total dollar expenditure on market basket in base year) X 100 Base year is a benchmark year that serves as the basis for price comparisons. The CPI compares the current prices of the market basket to the prices of those goods in base year. Here is a simple example of CPI computation. Assuming there are only 3 items in the market basket of Country A. Market Basket              1995 prices     1995 Quantity        1996  prices            1996 Quantity Toys                                  \$10                    3                                \$10                           3           Pencils                                   2                   5                                  2.2                          5 Books                                    5                    8                                  5.1                         8 Total dollar expenditure on market basket in 1995 = \$10x3 + \$2x5 + \$5x8= \$80 Total dollar expenditure on market basket in 1996 = \$10x3 + \$2.2x5 + \$5.1x8= \$81.8 Set 1995 as our base year, then 1996 CPI = (\$81.8 / \$80) X 100 =

Price and Inflation Real value of an economic variable can be found using the CPI (or any price indexes). Nominal dollar income or dollar prices in different years can be compared using the real value concept. Real value = (Nominal value / CPI) X 100 Using the data from the above example: if an individual's annual income was \$40,000 in 1996, his real income = (\$40,000 / ) X 100 = \$ Inflation is a rising general level of prices. It is an economic instability, which the U.S. government has to face. Inflation rate = [(current year’s price index – last year’s price index) / (last year’s price index)] X 100% Using the data from the above example: 1995 (base year) CPI = 100 and 1996 CPI = Inflation rate between 1996 and 1995 = [(102.25– 100) / 100] X 100% = 2.25% Rule of 72 is a short cut for calculating the time it takes for the price level to double. # of years for price level to double = 72 / inflation rate. For example,  inflation rate in the above example is 2.25%, then the number of years for the price level to double is about 32 years. (72/ 2.25 = 32)

Unemployment High unemployment rate is one of the results of an economic downturn. It is defined as the percentage of the labor force which is not employed. Population is divided into 3 groups: those under age 16 or institutionalized, those not in the labor force, the labor force which includes those age 16 and over who are willing and able to work. Part-time workers and discouraged workers who want a job, but are not actively seeking one, are not in the labor force. So they are not included in the unemployment rate. Unemployment rate (U) = (unemployed workers of the labor force / labor force) X 100% The economic cost of unemployment can be calculated by using Okun’s law: GDP Gap ( %)= ( U – Un ) X 2  where Un = natural rate of unemployment As we can see that the size of the labor force is crucial in determining the unemployment rate. Therefore, the Labor Force Participation rate is often calculated to see the percentage of the civilian non-institutional population that is in the labor force. Group 2 (those not in the labor force) and Group 3 (the labor force which includes those age 16 and over who are willing and able to work) form the non-institutional population. Labor Force Participation rate (%) = (Labor force / non-institutional population) X 100%

Three Types of Unemployment
Three types of unemployment are: 1. Frictional unemployment (Uf) includes those looking for jobs or waiting to take jobs soon. It indicates the mobility in the labor market. 2. Structural unemployment (Us)is due to changes in the structure of demand for labor, such as geographic distribution of job changes or obsolescence of certain skills. 3. Cyclical unemployment(Uc) is caused by the recession phases of the business cycle. Full employment does not mean zero unemployment, it means cyclical unemployment rate is zero. At this rate, job seekers are equal to job openings. This is also called the natural rate of unemployment (Un) where real GDP is at its potential GDP. Un does not stay the same but depends on the demographics of the labor force. The current Un of U.S. is about 4-5%. U = Uf+Us+Uc Un= Uf+Us

GDP 4. GDP was not designed to be a measure of well being of the society. GDP omits the following: a. Non-marketable goods and services: tasks that do not involve market transactions, such as baby sitting, house cleaning, lawn mowing etc. Some very useful output is excluded because it is unpaid employment. b. Underground activities: illegal or cash transactions have no record. Government’s estimates on these transactions are not accurate. c. Sales of used items: GDP measures only current output. Used car and thrift stores’ transactions are not counted. d. Financial transactions: trading existing assets, such as stock or bond purchases. e. Transfer payments: either government or private transfer payments are not included because goods and services are not produced in this process. Examples are social security benefits or kid’s allowances. f. Leisure: individuals consume leisure, just as they consume all the other tangible goods, which generate satisfactions. But leisure has no price tag, so it is not included in GDP. g. Social costs: production processes may cause pollution. Polluted air and water may have social costs like bad air quality, and cancer patients. These social costs reduce our economic well being. If money is not spent to clean up the oil spill or to cure the cancer patients, those expenses are not added to the GDP. h. GDP does not measure quality or nature of the product, which contributes to the satisfaction level of the consumers. Nominal GDP simply adds the dollar value of the product; it makes no differences if the product is a weapon, or a book. Per capita real GDP (= real GDP / population) gives more information on the standard of living.

GDP Calculation Two approaches of calculating GDP:
What is spent on a product is the income to those who helped to produce and sell it. GDP can be measured either from the expenditure approach or the income approach. 1. Expenditure approach The economy is divided into four sectors: household, business, government, and foreign sector. C: Consumption is the expenditures of the household sector. It includes spending on 1) durable goods which last for more than one year, 2) non-durable goods, and 3) services. I: Investment is the expenditure of the business sector, including 1) purchases of new capital goods which are equipment or tools that aids in the production process, 2) changes in business inventories, 3) purchases of new residential housing. G: Government Purchases is the expenditure of the public sector, such as education and defense expenses. Transfer payments are not included. If Government’s expenditure is greater than taxes collected from business and household sector, government is having a deficit; if government’s expenditure is smaller than the taxes collected, government is having a surplus; if the two amounts are equal, government’s budget is balanced. When there is a budget deficit, government needs to borrow debt from the business, household or the foreign sectors. Government’s debt is usually higher in recession than in an expansion phrase of the business cycle because government needs funding to finance their deficit. Xn: Net Exports is the differences between exports (goods and services sold to the foreign markets) and imports (goods and services produced and imported from abroad). Xn = X – M (X=exports, M=imports) Computing GDP: GDP = C + I + G + Xn

GDP Calculation 2. Income approach

Nominal Vs Real GDP Nominal GDP = Sum of (Price X Quantity) for every item produced in the economy, using the current year’s price. When comparing nominal GDP figures between different years, you cannot determine whether the increase is due to the increase in price level or increase in output. Real GDP is adjusted for price level, that is, GDP measured at the same price level. Real GDP = (Nominal GDP / price index) X 100 If real GDP increases from one year to the next, then economic growth has occurred. Growth rate =[(Real GDP of last year – Real GDP of earlier year) / Real GDP of earlier year] X 100 % The rise and fall of GDP over time is referred to as the business cycle. Phases of the business cycles are peak, recession, trough, recovery, and expansion (when economy has expanded beyond the initial peak). The U.S. economy’s longest growth period is from 1991 to From the second quarter of 2001, the U.S. economy has entered a recession. According to the statistics in the second quarter of 2002, U.S. is experiencing a growth rate of 1.1% annually.

GDP Example The following table illustrates an example of the computation process of GDP and some other national accounts. Personal consumption expenditures \$245 Compensation of employees \$223 Net foreign factor income earned 4 Indirect business taxes 18 Transfer payment 12 Undistributed corporate profits 21 Rents 14 Personal taxes 26 Consumption of fixed capital (depreciation) 27 Corporate income taxes 19 Social security contributions 20 Corporate profits 56 Interest 13 Government purchases 72 Proprietors' income 33 Net private domestic investment U.S. exports of goods and services Personal savings Dividends 16 U.S. imports of goods and services 9 Expenditure approach: Income approach GDP=C+Ig+G+Xn GDP=WAGE+RENT+INTEREST+OWNERS' INCOME+CORPORATE PROFIT+ ADJUSTMENTS C: WAGE: 223 Ig=In+Dep RENT: INTEREST: Gross private domestic investment 60 OWNER'S INCOME G: CORPORA TE PROFIT U.S.exports of goods and services (X) ADJUSTM ENTS: U.S.imports of goods and services(M) -9 Xn=X-M Net export (Xn) 11 Gross domestic product \$388 388