Statistics on the economy represent parametric measures that present various variables relating to different aspects of the economy. This paper presents an analytical review of various economic indicators in the past year-2011. Comparisons are made in relation to statistics from the current year-2012. Greater analytical emphasis is focused on unemployment-related statistics.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (2012a), unemployment declined by 1% from 8.9% in 2011 to 7.9%, which is the current rate of unemployment. The decline is an indicator that more jobs were created in 2012, and therefore; employment has been raised by 1% in the current period.
The consumer price index (CPI) is an indicator of the changes in pricing of consumer items. The CPI increased by +0.6 in September 2012. This is an indicator that the economy is in an inflation phase. The rise is an indicator that prices are increasing and this could be an incentive to buy items early so as to avoid buying the same goods at higher prices later on. The CPI rise in September 2012 is double the CPI rise experienced in the same period in 2011. The rise in CPI was +0.3% in September 2011 and this was a modest increase when compared to the 2012 rise. This difference implies that the rise in prices of consumer items was relatively low in 2011 when compared to the current year. Therefore, consumers may have a higher incentive to purchase in the current time than there was in 2011within the same period (BLS, 2012b).
The core rate is a measure of inflation on non-volatile consumer items such as gas and food. This rate increased by +0.1% in September 2012, and it is a reflection of the increase in CPI. The increase in core rate was however; modest when compared to the core rate increase in the same period within 2011. The increase in 2011 stood at +2.2% within the month of September (Crawford, Jonathan & Darren, 2011).
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is an indicator of the total number of goods produced within an economy. The GDP rate in the third quarter of this year (2012) increased by +2.0% percent. This is an indicator that the total production increased in the third quarter by 2%. This increase is relatively higher when compared to the advance estimate in the same period in 2011. The 2011 increase was +1.3% in the same period. This implies that GDP is higher in 2012 compared to 2011, where the estimate in the same quarter was +1.3% and overall annual increase was +1.8%. The rise in GDP often correlates to employment rates. A rise in GDP may lead to a creation of more jobs. As such, the increase in GDP from 2011 to 2012 may have created more employment as production increased. This is perhaps the reason why unemployment declined in the same period (BEA, 2011a).
Trade deficit data shows the difference between imports and exports in a nation’s trading. It is an indicator of favorable or unfavorable trading relations. The goods and services deficit in the country stood at $44217 million dollars in August 2012. This is an indicator that the nation imported more than it exported. This deficit is relatively low when compared to the trade deficit in 2011, which stood at $45.6 billion dollars. This indicates that the nation increased its production in 2012 as also implied by the GDP (BEA, 2011b).