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FRED® Activities for AP Macro

This package of 17 brief FRED® activities aligns perfectly with the AP Macroeconomics curriculum. Easy-to-follow instructions guide students as they create basic and advanced graphs using FRED® (Federal Reserve Economic Data). Each activity includes questions about real data designed to reinforce students’ understanding of fundamental AP Macro concepts. Topics include output, prices, employment, interest rates, and the Phillips curve. Download the complete packet, or pick and choose the activities in any order. As a bonus, students can save graphs to a dashboard linked to their free FRED account. Graphs can be retrieved any time and set to update automatically with the latest data.

An answer key for each activity, including links to auto-updating graphs, is available upon request to teachers who register a free Econ Lowdown account.

Submit your request for the answer key.

The 17 activities are grouped below under the main topic covered in each. You can download the full set or the individual activities. Unless otherwise noted, you will use FRED® to find and graph relevant data.

Related: View more Tools for Teaching with FRED »

•  Download Full Set of Activities for AP Macro (pdf)

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

National Income: GDP

Activity 1 focuses on the income component of the 2007-09 recession.
Concepts covered: Business Cycle, Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Download Activity 1 (pdf)

National Income: Real GDP

Activity 2 focuses on the real income component of the 2007-09 recession.
Concepts covered: Business Cycle, Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Download Activity 2 (pdf)

Inflation

Measures of Inflation

Activity 3 focuses on the price level component of the 2007-09 recession.
Concepts covered: Business Cycle, Inflation/Deflation.
Download Activity 3 (pdf)

More Measures of Inflation

Activity 4 focuses on the price level component of the 2007-09 recession.
Concepts covered: Business Cycle, Inflation/Deflation.
Download Activity 4 (pdf)

Motivating Aggregate Supply and Aggregate Demand—The Relationship Between Real GDP and Inflation

Activity 11 focuses on economic growth and inflation.
Concepts covered: Business Cycle, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Inflation/Deflation.
Download Activity 11 (pdf)

Interest Rates

Interest Rates

Activity 5 focuses on interest rates.
Concepts covered: Federal Reserve System-functions, Interest, Monetary Policy.
Download Activity 5 (pdf)

Real Interest Rates

Activity 6 focuses on real interest rates.
Concepts covered: Federal Reserve System-functions, Interest, Monetary Policy.
Download Activity 6 (pdf)

Federal Budget

Budget Surplus and Budget Deficit

Activity 7 focuses on the U.S. government’s budget.
Concepts covered: Fiscal Policy, Deficit.
Download Activity 7 (pdf)

Federal Government Debt

Activity 8 focuses on the national debt.
Concepts covered: Fiscal Policy, Deficit.
Download Activity 8 (pdf)

Employment

Unemployment

Activity 9a focuses on the labor market component of the Great Recession.
Concepts covered: Unemployment.
Download Activity 9a (pdf)

Duration of Unemployment

Activity 9b focuses on the labor market component of the Great Recession.
Concepts covered: Unemployment.
Download Activity 9b (pdf)

Jobs Created and Lost

Activity 9c focuses on the labor market component of the Great Recession.
Concepts covered: Employment, Unemployment.
Download Activity 9c (pdf)

Unemployment—A Geographical Look

Activity 9d uses a different data tool—GeoFRED®—to visualize the labor market component of the Great Recession, and you will find data that pertain to the employment and unemployment picture.
Concepts covered: Unemployment.
Download Activity 9d (pdf)

Unemployment and Labor Force Participation

Activity 9e focuses on the labor market component of the Great Recession.
Concepts covered: Employment, Unemployment.
Download Activity 9e (pdf)

Motivating Aggregate Supply and Aggregate Demand—The Relationship Between Real GDP and Unemployment

Activity 10 focuses on economic growth and the unemployment rate.
Concepts covered: Business Cycle, Employment, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Unemployment.
Download Activity 10 (pdf)

Money

Activity 12 focuses on the money supply and interest rates.
Concepts covered: Monetary Policy.
Download Activity 12 (pdf)

Phillips Curve

Activity 13 focuses on inflation and unemployment, and you will use FRED® to find data that pertain to them.
Concepts covered: Business Cycle, Inflation/Deflation, Unemployment.
Download Activity 13 (pdf)