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Economics 244

Introduction to Economic Analysis


Fall 2013
Writing Assignment #2
Due: Thursday, December 5
The Assignment
Summarize and assess the current state of the national economy and compare and
contrast the state of the national economy with the regional economy here in
Ohio.
Some Useul Inormation:
1. Prepare your write up in memo form written in an appropriate manner such that that your
non-economist boss could understand. The entire document, e!cluding the a""endi!,
should not e!ceed t#o "ages$ You may assume that your boss has an adeuate
understandin! of the meanin! of macroeconomic concepts of real "#P$ unemployment$ and
the inflation rate so these concepts do not need to be defined in your write up.
2. %t a minimum$ your analysis should include data on the followin! macroeconomic &ariables'
National Economy: (eal "#P )!rowth rate*$ inflation rate$ unemployment rate$ and one
or measures of the interest rates )e.!.$ mort!a!e rates$ 3-month +reasury ,ill rate$ 30-year
,ond rate*
Regional (e.g., Ohio) Economy: -nemployment rate and "ross #omestic Product
)!rowth rate* for the state of .hio.

+he best papers will also consider other factors in their analysis/ the data items listed abo&e is
only what is e0pected at a minimum. % considerable amount of information can be obtained
with an 1nternet search and this can be used to supplement your discussion of the data
referred to abo&e.
For the re!ional economy$ you may choose the state of .hio or any other state of interest to
you. +he best papers will also consider some re!ion within the state )e.!.$ %2ron
metropolitan area*.
3. +o address the issue posed in this assi!nment$ some analysis of trends o&er time is important.
For e0ample$ it is not only rele&ant to determine if .hio has a hi!her or lower unemployment
rate that the national a&era!es but it is also useful to 2now whether the unemployment rate in
.hio impro&ed )or worsened* relative to the nation as a whole o&er the last two or three
years. +he table templates that you are e0pected to complete for the e0ercise )with the
e0ception of interest rates* can be found at the end of this assi!nment and will help you in
e&aluatin! these trends. Please 2eep in mind that you must include the most uptodate data
in your analysis! your score for the assignment will "e reduced if you fail to do this.
4. You must use primary data sources )official !o&ernment websites* for this assi!nment for all
tables found at the end of this assi!nment. 1nterest rate data may come from a non-
!o&ernment website.
Pa!e % of &
3. 1n your analysis be sure to add some perspecti&e to the data you report and place in a lon!er-
term conte0t of the o&erall performance of the macro economy. For e0ample$ compare recent
real "#P !rowth$ the unemployment rate$ and inflation rates to longer term averages in
assessin! whether the current rates are 4hi!h5 or 4low.5
6. Prepare your own data tables usin! the templates pro&ided. #o not download tables from the
1nternet and attach them as an appendi0 to your write up. Properly cite each data source you
use.
7. -sin! data from the tables to support your ar!uments$ prepare a write up where you directly
address the issue posed by the assi!nment. +he write up$ includin! tables$ should be typed$
with proper !rammar and spellin!.
Due Date:
#his assignment is due no later than the end of the "usiness day on #hursday, $ecem"er %. 8orry$
no electronic submissions. 9ate papers will not be accepted.
Assessment:
+his assi!nment is worth 23 points and will be e&aluated accordin! to the followin! criteria'
'riteria (ossible
(oints
)our
Score 'omments
*actor # %: A""ro"riateness and com"leteness o the national and regional macroeconomic
data considered in the analysis$ Inclusion o most recent a+ailable data in analysis$
"#P #ata - -8 %$5
"#P #ata - 8tate %$5
1nflation #ata %$5
-nemployment (ate
#ata : -8
%$5
-nemployment (ate
#ata : 8tate;9ocal
%$5
1nterest (ates %$5
*actor #2: Written analysis o data
<ritten analysis %2
*actor #&: ,rammar and s"elling, a""ro"riate cites or data and any other sources used in
the analysis
"rammar;8pellin! 2
=itations 2
Total Score 25
-el":
1 am willin! to ser&e as a consultant on any issues that arise durin! the preparation of this
assi!nment. 8ee me after class to schedule some time to tal2.
Pa!e 2 of &
Some tem"lates:
+he document you submit should include all of the tables found below. 1n addition$ a separate
table )or !raph* on interest rates should be included. You are e0pected to create your own tables
or copy these tables into your document from the electronic &ersion of this assi!nment on
8prin!board. $o not fill in these tables below.
Table%: US (roduction ,ro#th .ate Trend
)percent chan!e from precedin! uarter measured at seasonally ad>usted annual rates*
(eal "#P 2011'1? 2012'1 2012'11
8ource'
Table 2: Unem"loyment .ate Trends: /ational and .egional 0selected months1
@uly
2012
.ctober
2012
@anuary
2013
Aarch
2013
%pril
2013
-8
.hio
%2ron
8ources'
Table &: .eal ,D( ,ro#th: US +ersus 2hio
0annual "ercent change1
200B 2010 2011 2012
-8
.hio
8ource'
Table 3: Inlation .ate Trends 0selected months1
)&'month percent chan!e in the =P1$ not seasonally ad>usted*
1nflation
rate
@uly
2012
.ctober
2012
@anuary
2013
Aarch
2013
%pril
2013
-8
8ource'
Pa!e & of &