Current Affairs Activities

Daily | Quarterly | US Economy | Policy | Labour Market | External Stability |


The activity outlines deal in the main with current affairs and give some examples of how web resources may be used in the classroom. The focus is on analysing current issues.

Daily Economic Round Up

These resources provide current daily commentary on the economic issues of the day. Newspapers are obvious sources of such information, however westpac economics section usually contains comment on current issue of the day, the National comments on recent statistical releases and the Commonwealth publishes a daily market update. Information from the National is in the Business section>News and Information. Some extra free economic comment may be found in Nabmarkets. The ABS also provides a current table of key economic indicators that is useful for current round ups and their media releases and summaries of recent statistical releases are extremely useful for the economy today style activities. The economic comment from banks is usually accesible via their home page if the URL's on the left do not work. The ABC's Behind the News occaisonally contains economic reports in simpler language than the other places. |Top |

Quarterly Economic RoundUps

All the major banks usually make their weekly, monthly and longer term economic surveys available to the public. The ANZ, National and Westpac publish a great deal of material relevant to economics teachers (industry surveys for example). Many of these reports are useful for students if only for statistics. The RBA, Treasury and the Parliamentary library offer current economic statistics and comment, Economic Round Up is now available online and frequently contains material on current economic issues. ABL and the Australian Industry Group make their reports publicly available as well. The ACTU usually carries articles on the economy although from a different perspective.The resources here are not suitable for all students and need to be used with discretion. |Top |

US Economy- Current

The Economy at a glance and the economic overview offer short snapshots of the US economy that students may find useful. The other links in the section are well known places to find articles on the US and world economy for that matter. The New York Times College section is specifically designed for students while strategic forecasting is a commercial business that offers some comment for free.

US Economy detailed

The web sites in this section offer highly detailed breakdowns on US economic activity. FirstGov is a gateway for finding US government resources and useful for both teachers and students. US National accounts data is available online from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. FedStats is statistical directory US Government statistics and helpful for finding a range of US economic statistics. The conference board is he US government forecasting agency and it offers articles on trends in the US, Australian and a number of other world economies. Some of these articles are too difficult for students however most can use the indicators. A range of commercial bank sources and the Federal Reserve are listed as well. Some of these web sites conatin wuite challenging material and not all students can use them well. |Top |

Economic Policy

The web sites of political parties and organisations usually contain details of their economic policies and criticism of the economic policies of other parties. Generally political parties put up web sites for elections and this is a very good time to compare and evaluate economic policies. Students could be asked to compare and contrast policies or draw up a for and against table. Students could then justify their choice of the best policy. Often it is more informative to use the policies of non mainstream political entities. This may stimulate much deeper discusion in some classes. Details of current monetary policy are explained in RBA media releases, Economic RoundUp is available from the Treasury site while budgetary policy information is available from the Governments budget site. Usually Treasury publishes "The Budget at a glance" which is a student friendly presentation of the budget, many students however find the more detailed "Budget Overview" helpful as well. These resources are useful for activities dealing with current economic policy. |Top |


The online resources on the left all provide information on the Australian Labour market. The ABS in its year book in the Australian Now section of its website offers a thorough summary of last years labour market conditions. Labour Force statistics may be downloaded from the RBA web site and used in spreadsheets to create graphs. The links to Yahoo and Google will for a time give you a selection of current news articles on labour market developments in Australia. Various online employment databases have been included so students may investigate how current economic conditions might affect their career choices. Students can search these by occupation and industry and use the data to create charts and indexes. The workplace portal from DEWRB offers unsurpassed material on the Australian labour market. It publishes its data on skilled labour shortages and the employment outlook. Its job search portal allows users to locate jobs by regions and industry. Students can ascertain whether or not their chosen career is in demand or not. The ANZ job Ad survey is available online and social welfare agencies such as the Brotherhood St Lawrence and other regularly publish information on unemployment and its impact in Australia. |Top |

External Sector

The resources on the left deal with trade and the achievement of external stability. Briefings on current statistics are provided in ABS press releases while detailed statistics are available in the Australia Now section of their web site. Students who want time series data will find this at the RBA. The Parliamentary Library in Canberra also provides good coverage of this topic. Foreign Affairs have material on nearly every aspect of Australia's trade with the rest of the world. Details of Australia's trade with other countries, the impact of trade round negotiations and free trade agreements are well documented at the DFAT site and Austrade. |Top |