Week Print Edition* Title/Questions Date Page Link** Text***
Apr 3-9, 2007
"March Jobs Data Show Vigor" Apr 7A3 LINK Proquest
  • How did the U.S. growth of jobs in March compare to February? How did the U.S. unemployment rate in March compare to February? Of the manufacturing, construction, and service sectors, which did and which did not post increases in employment?
  • What does this report suggest about how the Fed will manage interest rates? How does this expectation differ from what was thought before this report?
  • What does the news about unemployment signal about what is happening to productivity growth?
  • Mar 27 - Apr 2, 2007
    "Productivity Lull May Presage Slower Growth" Mar 31A1 LINK Proquest
  • If the slow-down in productivity growth reported here turns out to be more than temporary, what could that lead to, according to the article? What did the more rapid productivity growth of the late 1990s make possible? [How many of these effects can be understood in terms of what you have learned so far in this course?]
  • Do all economists agree that the underlying rate of productivity growth has fallen?
  • What possible causes of slower productivity growth are mentioned here? [Do they agree with what you've learned in this course about the determinants of productivity?]
  • Mar 20-26, 2007
    "Leading U.S. Indicators Fall, Pointing to Choppy Growth" Mar 2A5 LINK Proquest
  • What is a leading indicator? (The article doesn't say. Listen in class or look it up.) What other kinds of indicators are there?
  • How many indicators are included in the Conference Board Index that is reported here? Of these, how many fell?Where does the Conference Board get the data for these?
  • What other piece of new data is reported in this article, and how does it compare, in the message that it gives, to the index of leading indicators?
  • Mar 13-19, 2007
    "Reports on Economy Send Mixed Signals" Mar 17A2 LINK Proquest
  • Of the several economic reports that were released Friday, which is the "most widely watched"? What did it show, and how did it differ from the "core" version of the same thing?
  • What reasons are given for the 4.7% increase in prices of fruit and vegetables?
  • What other data were reported on Friday. Which of them came from the University of Michigan, and what did it show?
  • Mar 6-12, 2007
    "European Central Bank Raises Key Rate" Mar 9A2 LINK Proquest
  • Is the new interest rate, just set by the ECB, considered to be high enough to stop stimulating economic growth? How does it compare to rates set in the US and UK by their central banks?
  • What does the ECB expect will happen with the US economy, and would you say that this interest-rate increase is because of that, or in spite of that?
  • How rapidly is the euro-zone (the group of countries sharing the euro currency) growing, and how does that compare to recent years? What is its rate of inflation, and how does it compare to what the ECB aims for?
  • Feb 20 - Mar 5, 2007
    "Clinton Brings Debt Worries to the Fore" Mar 5A2 LINK Proquest
  • How much (what percentage) of the US Government debt that is not held by the US government is held by foreigners? Is this higher or lower than it used to be?
  • How is Clinton suggesting that the high debt might be dealt with?
  • How could this debt be reduced? Does the US Treasury Secretary think that it needs to be reduced?
  • Feb 13-19, 2007
    "Trade Deficit Widened to Record High in '06" Feb 14A2 LINK Proquest
  • The trade deficit hit a record high for 2006. Is that unusual, or is it something that has happened opten in previous years?
  • How much of the trade deficit was accounted for by trade with China? What actions are Democrats in Congress calling for as a result?
  • How did U.S. exports change over the year? How did U.S. imports change? What accounts mostly for the change in imports?
  • Feb 6-12, 2007
    Two Articles:
    "Slowing Productivity Fogs Broader Outlook" Feb 8A2 LINK Proquest
    "White House Sees Strong Productivity" Feb 12A6 LINK Proquest
  • What happened to nonfarm labor productivity and to labor costs per unit of output in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared to the quarter before? Are these results related? Were they typical of the whole year?
  • How has productivity growth over 2000-2005 compared to the late 1990s? Has productivity growth benefited workers through higher earnings? What is the difference, here, between earnings, measured by "compensation," and wages?
  • Does the White House article contradict the previous report?
  • January 30 - Feb 5, 2007
    "Jobs Data Signal Growth Is Easing but Still Solid" Feb 3A3 LINK Proquest
  • How does this report from the Labor Department differ from reports on unemployment?
  • According to these data, did employment rise or fall in January compared to December? How did the change in employment from December to January compared to the change from November to December?
  • What did the University of Michigan "say," according to the article? What reasons does the article mention that might account for this?
  • January 23-29, 2007
    "What Drives High Growth Rates? [First half only -- to "Beyond FDI..."] [Note credential of author, Michael Spence.] Jan 24A13 LINK Proquest
  • How do fast growing developing countries get around the constraint of demand?
  • In what ways does the global economy facilitate high growth in developing economies?
  • What are the "common ingredients in the cases of sustained high growth that have been observed"?
  • January 16-22, 2007
    "Uptick in Inflation, Home Starts Seen as Aberration" Jan 19A2 LINK Proquest
  • Four different measures are reported and graphed in this article, two variants of one thing and two variants of another. What are they, what do they mean, and how do the variants differ from each other?
  • What event is stated as the main reason for the December increase in prices? What event is stated as the main reason for the increase in housing starts in December compared to November? What kind of housing recorded this increase?
  • What, according to the article, is an "acceptable annual" rate of inflation? Do economists expect the US to hit that target? Do these latest data accord with that expectation or not?
  • *NOTE: The article in the interactive edition may have a different title, even though the text is the same, and it may be missing some graphics.

    **These are links to these articles in the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition. If you subscribed through the course, you have access to that. I'm told that you just do the following:

    1. Go to: http://info.wsj.com/student/
      or perhaps http://interactive.wsj.com/offers/student/
    2. Enter the 12-digit number found on the second line of the subscription label from your paper.

    If this doesn't work for some reason, consult the postcard that they should have sent you after you sent the subscription card from your text. If you've lost that, didn't get it, or it doesn't help, call 1-800-369-2834, and they will tell you what to do. If that fails, try 1-800-JOURNAL

    ***The link to "Text" is to the article from the Proquest facility that provides text from several news sources under a U of M license. It is available only from U of M computers. If you are at a U of M computer site, the links should work automatically -- if they don't, ask a consultant there. If you are dialing in through a U of M dial-in modem, then you may need to give an ID and password. If so, use "IPAUTO" for both.