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The current economic expansion

Oct

The current economic expansion

The current economic expansion which began June 2009 has been relatively long (over 9 years already) but relatively weak.
In this paper, you are asked to compare real economic activity during the current expansion to real economic activity during the two previous long expansions (the 120 month expansion of the 1990s and the 92 month expanison of the 1980s).
Be sure to check the NBER business cycle page for the exact months and quarters of each expansion. For the 3 expansion periods (2010s, 1990s and 1980s), come up with 5 good economic variables you might use to approximate “real economic activity”.
Explain why you selected each variable and using data from FRED, compare the performance of each of these 5 variables across the 3 expansions.
What can you conclude?
In what ways is the current expansion the weakest?
Is it the weakest according to all 5 of your variables or were the earlier expansions weaker than the current one in any ways?
This is not a research paper in which you report on the work of other economists. Rather, the paper should be based entirely on your own analysis of underlying data, all of which can be extracted from FRED.
The paper requires you to think about the data you extract, what analysis you do with your data and how you display the results of your analysis (charts, tables, etc).
I would anticipate that the final paper is likely to be somewhere between 6 and 10 pages, including tables and charts. Make sure the paper has a well written introduction and conclusion.

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