What is Macroeconomics?
Macroeconomics is the study of economics involving phenomena that affects an entire economy, including inflation, unemployment, price levels, economic growth, economic decline and the relationship between all of these. While microeconomics looks at how households and businesses make decisions and behave in the marketplace, macroeconomics looks at the big picture - it analyzes the entire economy.
Importance of Macroeconomics
We live in a complex and interconnected world. No one is unaffected by the economy. Most of us depend on the economy to provide job or business opportunities so we can make money to buy the goods and services we need to survive and function in modern society. The study of macroeconomics allows us to better understand what makes our economy grow and what makes it contract. A growing economy provides opportunities for better lives, while a contracting economy can be disastrous for most everyone. Macroeconomics provides the analysis for proper policy making so that we can develop and nurture the best economy possible.
Macroeconomic study focuses on three broad areas and the interrelationships between them. These three concepts affect all participants in an economy, including consumers, workers, producers and government. Let's look at each of these concepts.
Macroeconomics studies the national output, or income, of a country. National economic output is the total value of all goods and services produced in an economy during a specific time period. Economists measure national output by calculating the gross domestic product (GDP), which is the market value of final goods and services that an economy produces during a specific period of time. Economists will use the term real GDP, which is GDP valued at a constant price level, to compare current output with past output. This comparison will tell you if the economy is growing, is stagnant, or is contracting.