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This lesson focuses on the monthly report on Real Gross Domestic Product (Real GDP), produced 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 focus on economic data will also raise the question about a potential recession in the United States in 2008.Goals of GDP Focus on Economic DataThe goals of the GDP focus on economic data are to provide teachers and students: access to easily understood, timely interpretations of monthly announcements of rates of change in real GDP and the accompanying related data in the U.S. economy; descriptions of major issues surrounding the data announcements; brief analysis of historical perspectives; questions and activities to use to reinforce and develop understanding of relevant concepts; and a list of publications and resources that may benefit classroom teachers and students interested in exploring inflation.
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