GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT
The money value of the total output of goods and services in one year. An accounting system has been constructed so that different elements of the economy, e.g., wages, profits, rent and interest payments may be tracked and summed. Business cycles may be traced by following growth rates of GDP. A recession occurs when the overall economy does not grow for two consecutive quarters of the year (e.g. July through December). Note the darkened lines in the chart indicating recessionary periods.
Human populations grow, and people want higher levels of prosperity. More jobs and higher incomes have historically depended on a continuous flow of investment money into new firms with new ideas and techniques.
An economic condition where persons are willing and able to work but cannot find employment.
A process in which prices rise in many or all portions of the economy. Inflation is measured by a price index (usually the consumer price index) which weights the different price increases in various economic sectors according to their significance to a typical consumer's income.
The prime rate is the interest rate which the best corporate customers pay for money loaned. The 10 Year US Treasury bond is an important longer term rate for the world monetary system. Note the similarity of the charts of the CPI (above) and the 10 year bond.