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INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK: A regional multilateral development institution established 1959 to help accelerate economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Bank provides loans and technical assistance using capital provided by its member countries, as well as resources obtained in world capital markets through bond issues. The Bank is owned by its 46 member countries: 26 borrowing member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 20 nonborrowing countries, including the United States, Japan, Canada, 16 European countries, and Israel. The Inter-American Development Bank has its headquarters in Washington, DC.

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Lesson 12: Business Cycles | Unit 3: Measurement Page: 12 of 26

Topic: Indicators <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

Since the 1930s Great Depression, when the modern study of economics was prompted, economists have sought indicators of business cycles.

Some indicators are:

  • Real GDP, the unemployment rate, and the inflation rate are useful measures, but they measure only specific aspects of the economy. These may not be the best indicators of overall business cycle activity.Economists have identified three sets of indicators to track business cycles:
    • Leading indicators.
    • Coincident indicators.
    • Lagging indicators.

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GOVERNMENT CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURES AND GROSS INVESTMENT

The official item in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economics Analysis measuring government purchases undertaken by the government sector. Government consumption expenditures and gross investment averages between 15-20 percent of gross domestic product. As might be expected, this percentage tends to be ebb and flow with the political winds. Some political leaders prefer more government activity, others less. However, this percentage is even more dependent on military conflicts and wars that require massive government activity. The other official expenditures included in the National Income and Product Accounts are personal consumption expenditures, gross private domestic investment, and net exports of goods and services.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time searching the newspaper want ads trying to buy either a coffee cup commemorating the first day of spring or a printer that works with your stockpile of ink cartridges. Be on the lookout for defective microphones.
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Parker Brothers, the folks who produce the Monopoly board game, prints more Monopoly money each year than real currency printed by the U.S. government.
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. "

-- Anne Frank, diarist

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