What is GDP and why is it so important to economists and investors?
What is GDP?
GDP plays very crucial role in growth and development of every country. The gross domestic product (GDP) is one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country’s economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period; you can think of it as the size of the economy. Usually, GDP is expressed as a comparison to the previous quarter or year. For example, if the year-to-year GDP is up 5%, this is thought to mean that the economy has grown by 5% over the last year.
Gross domestic product is the best way to measure a country’s economy. GDP is the total value of everything produced by all the people and companies in the country. It doesn’t matter if they are citizens or foreign-owned companies. If they are located within the country’s boundaries, the government counts their production as GDP.
*Definition by OCED:
The OECD(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) defines GDP as “an aggregate measure of production equal to the sum of the gross values added of all resident and institutional units engaged in production (plus any taxes, and minus any subsidies, on products not included in the value of their outputs).”
Measuring GDP is somewhat complicated (which is why we leave it to the economists), but at its most basic, the calculation can be done in one of two ways: either by adding up what everyone earned in a year (income approach), or by adding up what everyone spent (expenditure method). Logically, both measures should arrive at roughly the same total.
The income approach, which is sometimes referred to as GDP(I), is calculated by adding up total compensation to employees, gross profits for incorporated and non incorporated firms, and taxes less any subsidies. The expenditure method is the more common approach and is calculated by adding total consumption, investment, government spending, and net exports.
The following equation is used to calculate the GDP:
Written out, the equation for calculating GDP is:
GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government investment + government spending + (exports – imports).
Types of GDP:
The nominal GDP is the value of all the final goods and services that an economy produced during a given year. It is calculated by using the prices that are current in the year in which the output is produced . In economics, a nominal value is expressed in monetary terms. For example, a nominal value can change due to shifts in quantity and price. The nominal GDP takes into account all of the changes that occurred for all goods and services produced during a given year. If prices change from one period to the next and the output does not change, the nominal GDP would change even though the output remained constant.
The real GDP is the total value of all of the final goods and services that an economy produces during a given year, accounting for inflation . It is calculated using the prices of a selected base year. To calculate Real GDP, you must determine how much GDP has been changed by inflation since the base year, and divide out the inflation each year. Real GDP, therefore, accounts for the fact that if prices change but output doesn’t, nominal GDP would change.
In economics, real value is not influenced by changes in price, it is only impacted by changes in quantity. Real values measure the purchasing power net of any price changes over time. The real GDP determines the purchasing power net of price changes for a given year. Real GDP accounts for inflation and deflation. It transforms the money-value measure, nominal GDP, into an index for quantity of total output.
*Relation of nominal GDP to real is called GDP deflator.
*Actual and potential GDP:
Actual GDP is calculated under current subemployment and demonstrates a real state of business in the economy. Potential GDP is calculated under 100% full employment and shows economic potential of state.
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