Civics Today Citizenship, Economics, & You

Chapter 23: Government and the Economy

Student Web Activity

"Measuring Our Economy"

In this chapter you have read about the important role that our government plays in the economy. By studying economic indicators the government determines whether the economy is in a period of expansion or recession. One goal is to keep inflation under control. One statistic that gives economists insight into the growth of the economy is the Consumer Price Index.

Destination Title: The Bureau of Labor Statistics

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
Need help using your browser for this activity? Click here for tips.

Start at the Bureau of Labor Statistics home page.

  • Under the category “Inflation & Consumer Spending,” click on Consumer Price Index.
  • Click on Frequently Asked Questions. Explore some of the links presented.

After browsing through the information found in this list, answer the following questions.

What is the CPI?
How does the Bureau of Labor Statistics decide what to include in the CPI market basket?
What eight major categories are included in the market basket?
How often is the CPI released?
With a small group, create a market basket of at least twenty items for teens. Find out the prices of these items in your area. In a month, go back and check the prices again. After figuring the differences in price, compute an average change in the CPI for teens in your area. Share your data with the class.
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