Shifts in Aggregate Demand

Key Concepts and Summary

The AD curve will shift out as the components of aggregate demand—C, I, G, and X–M—rise. It will shift back to the left as these components fall. These factors can change because of different personal choices, like those resulting from consumer or business confidence, or from policy choices like changes in government spending and taxes. If the AD curve shifts to the right, then the equilibrium quantity of output and the price level will rise. If the AD curve shifts to the left, then the equilibrium quantity of output and the price level will fall. Whether equilibrium output changes relatively more than the price level or whether the price level changes relatively more than output is determined by where the AD curve intersects with the AS curve.

The AD/AS diagram superficially resembles the microeconomic supply and demand diagram on the surface, but in reality, what is on the horizontal and vertical axes and the underlying economic reasons for the shapes of the curves are very different. We can illustrate long-term economic growth in the AD/AS framework by a gradual shift of the aggregate supply curve to the right. We illustrate a recession when the intersection of AD and AS is substantially below potential GDP, while we illustrate an expanding economy when the intersection of AS and AD is near potential GDP.