The subdivision of the discipline of economics that studies and strives to explain the functioning of the economy as a whole -- the total output of the economy, the overall level of employment or unemployment, movements in the average level of prices (inflation or deflation), total savings and investment, total consumption and so on. The focus of much of macroeconomic theory is analysis of the ways in which conscious government policies (and the unintended secondary consequences of these policies) can influence the overall "economic health" of the country for good and for ill.

[See also: microeconomics, aggregate demand, aggregate supply, gross national product, gross domestic product, fiscal policy, monetary policy, business cycle, inflation, unemployment rate, savings, investment, economics, political economy]