DUAL Economics Module 6: Macro Indicators

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  • Provide an overview of how our economy is measured and discuss important macroeconomic indicators (like unemployment)

 Reading For This Module:

From “Introducing Economics through a Collection of Free Articles by Economists”:

  • Gross Domestic Product by Lincoln Anderson
  • Unemployment by Lawrence H. Summers
  • Business Cycles by Christina D. Romer

 Opening Vignettes:


How is our economy doing? The answer to this question requires some data, and in this module, a number of important measurements of our economy are covered. You will read news headlines referring to GDP and unemployment the rest of your life. This module provides a brief overview of these terms (and more). 

 Dr. Wentland Lectures: Macroeconomic Indicators

Macroeconomic indicators covers Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the unemployment rate. General approaches to manage the business cycle, varying from laissez faire to intervention, are also briefly discussed.

Part 1 (video) (17:53)

Part 2 (video) (14:17)

Part 3 (video) (17:29)

 KHAN ACADEMY SUPPLEMENTS: GDP and the Circular Flow of Income Expenditures

Complete all THREE SECTIONS on the left side. Covers:

  • Understanding the flow of resources in the simplest possible economy (video) (08:58)
  • Understanding what GDP does and doesn’t measure (video) (11:59)
  • What happens when a good is not finished in a period (video) (02:50)

KHAN Academy GDP tutorial, be sure to complete all three sections!

KHAN Academy: Components of GDP

Complete all FOUR SECTIONS on the left side. Covers:

  • Difference between every day and economic notions of investment and consumption  (video) (07:32)
  • Looking at a simple model of an economy  (video) (04:49)
  • Understanding the components of the expenditure view of GDP. Consumption, investment, government spending and net exports  (video) (04:58)
  • Thinking about how different types of expenditures would be accounted for in GDP  (video) (05:58)

KHAN Academy Components of GDP, complete all four sections

KHAN Academy: Real GDP and Nominal GDP

Complete all THREE SECTIONS on the left side. It covers:

  • Using real GDP as a measure of actual productivity growth   (video) (08:04)
  • Relationship between the GDP deflator, nominal GDP and real GDP   (video) (06:28)
  • Simple example of calculating Real GDP from Nominal GDP  (video) (05:39)

KHAN Academy: Real GDP and Nominal GDP, complete all THREE sections


This module provides a very basic introduction to macroeconomic indicators that all citizens should be familiar with. While a full course in macroeconomics goes much deeper into these topics, it is important to have a solid understanding of the essential terminology.

 Practice Quiz

Open practice quiz


Take the quiz for this module on Canvas.

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