Economics for Decision Making

 
Assignment 2
Due: 7pm, 27 August, 2018
Length: 1500 words–(up to 2000 words is permissible)
Weighting: 25%
Requirement:
In February 2017, the Sydney Morning Herald presented the views of some economists regarding the performance of the Australian economy in 2017 (see http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/economists-deeply-divided-over-australias-economic-path-in-2017-20170207-gu72ev.html). For Assignment 2 you are required to firstly read this article and to then prepare a report on the current (i.e., August/September 2018)state of the Australian economy and compare its performance with state of the economy in August 2017. In completing your report it will be necessary to examine the latest figures and the August 2017 figures for the following four economic indicators – economic growth (GDP), unemployment, inflation and trade (including the terms of trade, the current account, net foreign debt and the value of the Australian dollar). In examining the performance of the Australian economy it will be useful to outline any expected target values that may exist for the economic indicators.Finally, given your analysis, you are asked to highlight three major issues you believe are facing the Australian economy over the next 12 months and why you perceive these as of concern. 
Presentation of report
The report should be between 1500 and 2000 words. This word limit does not include the abstract, tables,graphs and reference list.
The report should be word processed using Times New Roman font size 12 with 1.5 line spacing.
Structure of report
Your report must include:
· an appropriate title
· an abstract (sometimes called an executive summary) summarising the report
· an introduction in which you briefly explain what you are going to address in the report and why
· the body of the essay broken into sections with appropriate section headings 
· a brief conclusion that should summarise your analysis
· appropriatein-text referencing and a reference list at the end of the report.
Although the requirements for presentation and structure may appear pedantic, they are not. In the business world you may often find yourselfinvolved in writing a report – perhaps even for multilateral and government organisations such as the IMF or OECD. We suggest that you devote some time to developing this skill. Your future career can only be enhanced by your ability to communicate effectively in writing.
Marking criteria Assignment 2
Your report will be marked against the following criteria:
· Abstract (2 marks)
· Introduction (1 mark)
· The body of the report providing:
o An appropriate descriptionand discussion of the current state of the Australian economy as reflected by the four economic indicators- economic growth, unemployment, inflation and trade in Australia and the economy in 2018. You also need to compare the current situation with that in August 2017(8 marks)
o A succinct description ofthree major issues facing the Australian economy over the next 12 months. (6 marks)
· Conclusion (1 mark)
· Evidence in the report of a depth of research (3 marks)
· Accuracy in referencing (Harvard Style) (1 mark)
· Presentation, grammar, structure, etc. (3 marks)
TOTAL FOR ASSIGNMENT 2: 25 marks (weighting 25% of total marks for the unit)
Some advice about Assignment 2
Your short “Abstract”needs to describe the aim of the report and provide a brief overview of the economic targets as well as the issues facing the economy. It should be approximately 500 words. The Abstract is worth 2 marks
The “Introduction” is a brief paragraph or two that outlines the aim of the report (i.e., what you are examining)and how the report is structured. The content of your assignment should generally reflect the marking criteria. REMEMBER that an Introduction is different to an Abstract. The Introduction is worth 1 mark.
The “body” of the report is the content of your research and analysis. You may want to consider dividing you report into different sections with appropriate subheadings. 
You should begin the body of your report with a discussion and comparison of the values of the four economic indicators under investigation (Economic Growth (GDP), Unemployment, Inflation and Trade) in Australia in 2017 and 2018. You could also discuss the government’s targets for these indicators. Ensure that you are clear on what you are presenting with regard to the indicators- e.g., do your indicators show GDP, growth in GDP over time or GDP per capita growth? This section is worth 8 marks
Once you have discussed the variables you need to provide your (well thought out) opinions about three major issues facing the Australian economy over the next 12 months. You need to support your opinions with reputable research. This section is worth 6 marks.
In your “Conclusion” you need to discuss briefly the Australian economy in 2017 and 2018 and what you see as the major issues facing the economy. This section is worth 1 mark.
You are expected to have used a number of references to enable you to prepare this report. This section is worth 3 marks.
You also need to ensure that you have consistently used correct Harvard referencing throughout the report and that you have correctly formatted your Reference List at the end of the report. Consistent and correct referencing includes correctly referencing all charts and statistics used in compiling your report. Only include the references that you actually used in your report. This section is worth 1 mark.
Finally but importantly pay careful attention to the structure of your report as well as presentation and grammar. This aspect of your report is worth 3 marks.
You should check your “turnitin” value before submitting your assignment. A value of over 50 per cent should raise some concerns for you. If you are still uncertain about using turnitin refer to the documents in the unit’s MySCU site.
There are a number of useful resources you can use to gather information but make sure you are using reliable sources and that all sources are fully and correctly referenced. Useful sources of information might include the following web sites: 
· Australian Bureau of Statistics http://www.abs.gov.au
· The Reserve Bank of Australia http://www.rba.gov.au
· Australian Government Treasury http://www.treasury.gov.au
· Department of Finance http://www.finance.gov.au
· Productivity Commission http://www.pc.gov.au
· World Trade Organization http://www.wto.org
· OECD http://www.oecd.org
· ABC News http://www.abc.net.au/news/
· Trading Economics http://tradingeconomics.com
Some newspaper sites may also be useful. For example, the Australian Financial Review, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, the Guardian and other major newspapers. The editions around the time of economic policy announcements are especially useful. 
You will also need to look closely at some recent budgets that are usually brought down in May (details can be found at http://www.budget.gov.au) and monetary policy announcements about interest rates can be found at http://www.rba.gov.au. The RBA’s quarterly statement on monetary policy is also a very useful source of information on the economy and its status. If you find some good sources I suggest that you share them with other students on the Unit’s Discussion Board.
Final examination
Exam period: TBA 
Weighting: 50%of total marks for the unit 
The final examination is scheduled for the end of the study period. Students will be fully advised during the study period as to when the exam will be held and the format it will take. The exam will be closed book. Students will be able to take in a silent non-programmable calculator.

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