October 28, 2022

After years of unease, this year Americans are approaching holidays like Halloween with a level of enthusiasm not seen since pre-pandemic times. According to a survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), 69 percent of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween this year, an amount that is on par with the stats from 2019. “As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one,” said NRF Continue reading

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September 28, 2022

In recent months, CEOs at leading corporations have been talking a lot about “elasticity” with their shareholders. As Americans contend with rising prices due to inflation, companies are concerned with just how elastic their pricing practices can be. This video examines the concept of elasticity and the role it plays in determining how companies price products. 

Questions:

  1. What is price elasticity, and how is it affected by inflation?
  2. What are some ways that companies like Procter & Gamble try Continue reading
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July 29, 2022

Consumer confidence in the economy has taken a nosedive as prices climb higher due to rising inflation, potentially indicating that the U.S. is on the road to a recession. This video looks at how the government collects data on consumer confidence while also examining the ways that low economic expectations can further fuel inflation.

Questions:

  1. Why does the government collect data on consumer confidence? What sort of questions do they ask participants?
  2. How can declining consumer confidence potentially drive inflation even higher?
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July 22, 2022

The U.S. dollar is the world’s most important currency, serving as one side of 90 percent of all foreign exchange transactions. Before the pandemic, the U.S. dollar accounted for $6 trillion in daily activity as everyone from tourists to multinational corporations depended on this customarily stable currency. After the turmoil of the last few years, however, the dependable dollar has skyrocketed in value to its highest level in 20 years. 

The value of the dollar has jumped 10 percent Continue reading

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April 19, 2022

As companies continue to face climbing costs, many businesses are responding by either raising prices themselves or reducing the size of their product offerings. But there’s at least one company who hasn’t surrendered to the effects of inflation: 23-ounce cans of AriZona iced tea remain 99 cents, the same price as when they hit the market 30 years ago. So is AriZona somehow immune to recent price increases? Not in the least, considering that the cost of aluminum has Continue reading

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April 15, 2022

As businesses across the globe contend with rising inflation, many companies are cutting costs by reducing the size of consumer goods and hoping buyers don’t notice. This video looks at this growing trend of “shrinkflation” and the risks that companies take when they downsize snacks. 

Questions:

  1. Why are many companies responding to rising costs with “shrinkflation?” 
  2. What risks do companies take when they alter the packaging or size of consumer goods like snacks?
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March 17, 2022

With inflation rising to its highest levels in 40 years, the Federal Reserve plans to take action by raising interest rates in an effort to get the money supply under control. This video looks at the ways the Fed guides the economy by influencing the federal funds rate, which then affects everything from banking policies to the housing market. 

Questions:

  1. Why is the Fed planning to raise the federal funds rate?
  2. How does the federal funds rate eventually affect Continue reading
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June 20, 2019

In recent months, officials at the Federal Reserve have debated whether or not the institution should do anything to combat rising inflation. This video explains the basics about inflation and what the Fed could potentially do about it.

Questions:

  1. What are some of the potential causes of inflation?
  2. What is the Federal Reserve’s role in managing inflation?
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