Look up current level of GDP at the Census Bureau’s web site (http://www.census.gov). What is the value of nominal GDP?  What is the value of real GPD? What is the base year(s) used in calculating real GPD?   

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Since you have only given the URL for the main Census Bureau website, I cannot be sure that I am looking at the exact page that your instructor expects you to use.  I searched for “GDP” on census.gov and am using this page, which I found after a few clicks.  This page does not show GDP for this year.  The most recent year that it shows is 2010.

The first thing you ask about is the current level of nominal GDP.  Nominal GDP is GDP that does not take inflation into account.  In other words, this is just the goods and services produced in 2010 multiplied by their prices in 2010 dollars.  The value for nominal GDP in 2010 was $14.66 trillion. 

The second thing that you ask for is the value of real GDP.  This is GDP that does take inflation into account.  Real GDP is always expressed in the dollars of some base year.  To simplify things somewhat, real GDP is found by taking the number of goods and services produced in the current year and multiplying them by their prices in the base year, which was some time in the past.  On this page, the base year is 2005.  The value for real GDP (expressed in 2005 dollars) for 2010 was $13.248 billion.  This shows that there had been some inflation between 2005 and 2010, thus making 2010’s real GDP (in 2005 dollars) be lower than that year’s nominal GDP.

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