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How do you feel about the economy?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I saw this on the New York Times website and thought it was a nice way of showing the human side to a recession. People enter one word to explain how they feel about the economy whilst the page constantly refreshes with responses


Interactive unemployment data

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Unemployment has featured fairly often in the headlines this year. The following interactive guide is brilliant, tracking the changes in unemployment over the last year, analysing the changes and adding news stories.

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Recession map

This fantastic map made by the Guardian looks like it shows the weather but actually highlights how the recession is affecting different parts of the UK. Each weather symbol can be clicked to reveal a news story.


Japan – balance of payments revision

This article shows that Japan’s current account surplus declined in April for the fourteenth consecutive month but still holds a positive trade balance. Click read more for some GCSE style questions relating to the current account.

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Q&A - Exchange Rates

Monday, June 08, 2009

The value of the pound has been making headlines over the last week as political turmoil continues to take its toll. This interesting article looks at the highs and lows of sterling against the euro.
The OCR case study paper provides exchange rate data, so this topic will be key for revision.

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Mnemonic Monday – Government’s main macroeconomic objectives

This week’s mnemonic is the basis of my macroeconomic teaching. It allows you to set up a really good wall display, possibly featuring Tony the Tiger.

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Super Starter Sunday - A-Z

Sunday, June 07, 2009

As end of year exams approach, many of us will be revising with our classes. A good starter activity could be to get pupils to create an A-Z guide to demand and supply.

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Super Starter Sunday – Economics in the news (7 June 2009)

This week’s economics in the news covers unemployment, the exchange rate, Alan Sugar and interest rates. The pupils have to guess the news stories using the pictures. Each picture has an explanation and web link behind it.

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Unemployment in the USA – Revision

In the USA unemployment is continuing to rise, although at a slower rate, and is currently at 9.4%. Press read more for a BBC video which explains why unemployment will continue to rise, even after the first signs of recovery in the economy and some GCSE style questions.

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The return of the old-fashioned desserts.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

As the recession bites, consumers are having to cut back on their weekly shopping bills. Consumers are still keen though to buy comfort food.

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Smoking costs businesses £2.1bn – Negative externality revision

Friday, June 05, 2009

Smokers are costing firms £2.1bn through sickness and time wasting breaks. This article would be a great starter for revising negative externalities of smoking.  Press read more for some GCSE style questions on negative externalities and market failure.

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10 ways the recession is changing us

This interesting article could be a good starter for revising economic growth. Click read more for some GCSE style questions to go with it.


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Who’s best? Sainsbury’s or M&S?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Competition on the High Street has never been so fierce, as retailers battle it out to get us to part with our money.

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The dream job opportunity!

In a bid to cut costs and save on expensive redundancy packages, the Spanish bank BBVA is offering staff 30% of their salary each year if they agree to not come to work for five years! Would you go for it? Click here for the full article.

Food prices soar – Inflation revision

An article from the Daily Mail shows food price inflation in the UK is almost four times higher than in the rest of Europe while supermarkets have enjoyed record profits. Press read more for a table showing the changes in food prices in the UK and some GCSE style questions on inflation

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Xbox Project Natal – Competition revision

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


The 2009 OCR case study is likely to have a number of questions on competition. I noticed Microsoft’s new fully hands free control system in the news and thought it was a fantastic example of using innovation to compete. Press read more for two BBC videos of the new system and GCSE style questions on competition for revision.

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Under the counter price rises

Many of our favourite chocolate bars are getting smaller. Is this a sneaky way of manufacturers cutting costs or a move to help tackle the nations obesity problem?

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The power of dreams - Honda encourages us to be greener

An excellent video highlighting actions individuals can take to reduce the negative externalities of car journeys. But they stop short of suggesting we leave our cars at home and take the bus! I wonder why?

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Ryanair slumps to first ever annual loss – price elasticity of demand revision

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Ryanair have posted an annual pre-tax loss of £155 million. Despite this, the chief executive expects to emerge stronger from the recession by cutting prices by 20%. This is a great example of a firm trying to take advantage of price elasticity of demand in their market. I have written some GCSE style questions to go along with this article for revision.

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Q&A - Demand and Supply in action

Sales of strawberries in the 12 months to April were down 9.2%. The value of strawberries sold was also down by 3% to £390million. Have we fallen out of love with the strawberry?

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On this day…20 years ago - Call for interest rates to rise to 15%


I thought this article would be interesting to compare to the current economic climate and could be useful in revising the effect of a change in interest rates on the exchange rate and on demand in the economy. I have written some GCSE style questions to go with the article. It may be useful to highlight the key aspects of the article to make it more suitable for GCSE pupils.

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World food price watch

The BBC website has tracked the food prices in seven major cities by looking at the price of a basket of goods since July 2008. Here is the interactive map. I have also written some GCSE style questions to go with it.

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Recession wristbands - a novel way of trying to find a job

Monday, June 01, 2009

Wristbands with slogans and messages on have become big business, I am sure many of us have them. In the US two women came up with the idea of wristbands with “I need a job” on them

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Millionaire footballers to avoid 50p tax

I wrote last week that international footballers would be put off Premiership clubs due to the new 50% tax rate. This article from the Daily Mail shows they have found a way to potentially avoid the tax and may initially pay just 2.5%!

Mnemonic Monday – Price elasticity of supply

This week’s mnemonic is for factors affecting price elasticity of supply

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Could we have found a new key term? FLATION

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Yes, you read it right – not inflation, not deflation, just flation! The Eurozone has just announced their latest inflation rate is 0% - on average prices have stopped rising. This article is predicting deflation in the months to come.

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Super Starter Sunday - What is the question?

A good way to get the lesson going after half term. Give your students the following five words, these are the answers, then ask them in groups to think of the question that goes with each answer.

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UK tourism on the up

It is predicted that due to the current recession more Britons will holiday in the UK this year. The estimated average spend on a summer break is predicted to be down from £631 last year to £537 this year. So where are people going on holiday?

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Super Starter Sunday – Economics in the news

Every Sunday I will add a GCSE starter which will hopefully make planning for the first lesson of the week slightly less painful!

This starter tests your pupils’ knowledge of economics in the news by asking them to guess the news stories using the pictures. Each picture has an explanation and web link behind it.

Unemployment, competition, inflation and government spending are covered in this starter

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GCSE Q&A – oil prices rise

Saturday, May 30, 2009

This week oil prices have hit a six-month high above $66. This BBC Q and A article is brilliant to help explain why oil prices fluctuate so much.

Using the article, complete the worksheet provided


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Government spending and taxation - An interactive guide

At GCSE, pupils are required to know the main areas of government spending and be able to identify the sources of government revenue. This interactive guide is perfect to introduce the subject. I have also written a number of GCSE exam style questions to go along with the guide for revision.

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Q&A - Economic Growth

Friday, May 29, 2009

India’s economy keeps on growing. A key topic at GCSE is economic growth.

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I’m so excited - price elasticity of supply in action

This evening I am going to the Boyzone concert at Wembley Arena! You may well be thinking, what has this got to do with Economics; lots! We can look here at price elasticity of supply.

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Fun starter - guess the price

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A survey has revealed that teenagers know exactly how much an iPod costs but have no idea of the price of bread. Can your pupils guess the price of the products in the survey?  Could be a great starter for the first lesson back after half term

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The greatest video on inflation ever!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I’ve probably overhyped this video but it could be useful for revising inflation at GCSE.

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Q&A - UK Unemployment

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How many more will lose their jobs in this recession?  Retiring Monetary Policy Committee member David Blanchflower predicts at least one million more people will lose their jobs before unemployment peaks.

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GCSE OCR – supply and demand revision

Here is a PowerPoint I made to help answer a frequently asked question in the GCSE OCR paper 3 on supply and demand.

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Football clubs hit by the recession

This interesting article from the Telegraph shows how the economic crisis is causing problems for football clubs in the UK.

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Mnemonic Monday

Monday, May 25, 2009

I intend to add a new mnemonic to this blog every Monday. Today: factors affecting price elasticity of demand.

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Welcome to the GCSE Economics blog

Sunday, May 24, 2009

This is the first entry on what we hope will become a really useful source of teaching and study resources for GCSE Economics.

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