Anyone who has taken an introductory finance course should be able to explain simply what inflation and cost of living are. Unfortunately, many still don’t know what those terms mean, and the Federal Reserve of Atlanta wanted to explain it all to their audience.

The video opens on a white, textured screen with black specs across the screen, giving the appearance of thick paper with small ink stains. “Federal Reserve of Atlanta” is printed center screen, in a classic serif font, in all uppercase lettering. The words are all stacked on top of each other, and to their left is a stylized pillar.

The paper-like background transitions to a newspaper, and the camera zooms out to a cartoonized park with an ice cream stand. The ice cream here is used as a visual example of how inflation works, as a narrator explains the price of ice cream fifty years ago compared to what it is today. Onscreen text joins the narrator, complementing and repeating the words narrated. The text is a wacky sans serif font, with an uneven x height and shown in multiple colors.

The text follows the narration throughout the film as more animations show examples of inflation and cost of living, and how they make prices rise. An animation then explains what the Federal Reserve’s role in all this is—a sink, filling up with water depicts the Federal Reserve’s ability to produce dollars. Too many dollars in the system equals an overflowing sink, which means it’s time to adjust the knob and stem the flow of money. Too little money, and it’s time to turn the water flow back on.

To end the video, the camera shifts upward to the sky, where the Federal Reserve of Atlanta’s website is featured in the clouds, along with an admonition to view the site to learn more about economic practices. The animation fades out to the same paper texture which opened the video, on which is a statement from the video producer.

This is a very educational video, and could be a helpful resource for anyone interested in learning more about how the economy works.

The Fed Explained: Inflation is a great animation video.