Gross domestic product

The gross domestic product (abbreviation: GDP english Gross Domestic Product, GDP) is the total value of all goods, ie goods and services that have been made ​​within one year within the boundaries of an economy and serve the end use. The calculation includes goods that are not directly used further, but asked in stock, considered as changes in stocks.

In contrast to the gross national income, the benefits of residents and nonresidents are recognized in the calculation of GDP, it is the so-called domestic principle applied. Gross national income, however, depends on the national principle. If the depreciation deducted from GDP, results in the net domestic product (NIP ).

GDP is a measure of the economic performance of an economy in a given period. The change rate of real GDP as a measure of the economic growth of economies and is therefore the most important national accounts.

Gross domestic product may refer to both countries and to other administrative or geographic units. Partial then the terms of Gross Regional Product, Gross Provincial Product, gross world product, and others are used.

  • 2.1 methods
  • 2.2 development page
  • 2.3 Use page
  • 2.4 Distribution page
  • 3.1 Gross world product and economic power
  • 3.2 Economic growth
  • 3.3 from GDP to disposable income
  • 3.4 GDP per capita and wealth

Data collection and calculation

Data collection

Is calculated GDP in Germany by the Federal Statistical Office. The Federal Statistical Office shall each year, twice calculations for the annual GDP of the previous year before, in the spring (around March / April ) and autumn (about August / September). In the fall not only the figures for the previous year, but are also subjected to the previous years by a qualified and revised slightly in the rule. For the annual Economic Report of the Federal Government in January, the Federal Statistical Office also provides figures in January for the just-completed year, then of course partly due to addition estimates. Otherwise, the Federal Statistical Office for each quarterly figures for GDP and its aggregates presents.

Nominal and real GDP

Nominal GDP is the sum of domestic value added, or the value of regions in current market prices. This GDP is dependent on changes in the price index of the considered economy. Nominal GDP increases with inflation and consequent rising market prices. Conversely, the nominal GDP decreases with deflation and consequent declining market prices. So, for example, an inflation rate of five percent for the same goods production leads to a nominal GDP growth of five percent also.

To view the GDP independent of changes in prices, real GDP is used in which all goods and services are valued at the prices of a base year (GDP at constant prices ). In Germany, the Federal Statistical Office used since 2005 chain indices.

If you know the price increase since the base year, can the real GDP using the following formula from the nominal GDP calculated:

GDP deflator

The GDP deflator is the ratio of nominal and real GDP a year. He is referred to as the implicit price index of GDP and measures the price development of Endgüter produced.


If the depreciation deducted from GDP, results in the net domestic product.

Ways of calculating


The gross domestic product is determined in three different ways. All calculation methods lead to the same result. This is below the example of Germany in 2007 illustrates ( GDP at that time amounted to 2423.8 billion euros. )

The methods for collection of data and calculation of GDP to be revised at irregular intervals. Thus, the national accounts are taken into account, for example, the hitherto unrecognized indirect charges levied by the banks from lending and deposit of 28 April 2005 from the previous revision. To ensure the historical comparison, the data for previous years are adjusted accordingly.

On 20 August 2009 the European Commission published under the title of GDP and beyond - Measuring progress in a changing world, a Communication to the European Parliament. In the development of new metrics is recommended.

Production side

Here, the economic performance is represented by the production side. The central variable forms the gross value added. This is calculated from the sum of all production less intermediate consumption. The table shows the gross value added by sector in Germany in 2007.

Use Page

When using side the calculation based on the demand side is done. The use of goods and services is determined. The following table shows the components of the left use invoice, the values ​​on the right correspond to the size of the national GDP in Germany in 2007.

Distribution page

Here GDP is measured in terms of the resulting income. The allocation is made on the basis of national income. This table displays on the left side of the components of the income approach and the right the corresponding data from the year 2007.

The Federal Statistical Office indicates that in Germany no independent calculation of GDP is made on the distribution side, because no adequate data on corporate profits exist.

GDP as an indicator

Gross world product and economic power

The gross world product ( BWP) was in 2007 at 54 274 billion U.S. $. The industrialized countries have them a share of 70.8 %, or U.S. $ 38.400 billion. U.S. $ 14.100 billion, which is about 25.9 %, fall on developing countries. 3% is for South -East Europe and the CIS.

The states with the highest GDP - United States, Japan, Germany, Britain and France - have only a share of the gross world product of 50.7 %. This corresponds to 27.5 trillion U.S. $. Alone represents states in the "Top Ten" of the highest GDP accounted for 67.1 % of world GDP ( 36.4 billion U.S. $).

While in 2007 to Europe or the United States and Canada accounted for 30.9 % and 28.1% of world GDP, Africa had completely with 1.25 trillion U.S. $ accounts for only 2.3% of the gross world product. Also low, the shares of South America or Central America and the Caribbean, with 4.4% and 2.1% respectively. Within Asia, fell to 9.8 % of world GDP in Japan and South Korea, with 13% falling to the other countries of Asia. In the other countries of Asia, the world population in 2004 was their share of 53.6 %, but twenty times as many people as lived in Japan and South Korea.

Economic growth

Economic growth, measured as the rate of change of gross domestic product is commonly used by the policy as a success criterion. However, all national product comparisons are ultimately nothing more than comparisons of two by following certain rules in money estimated commodity combinations, ie two sums of money, by which one can perhaps get some information, if you know its calculation method, but never look at "utility" or " satisfaction ".

From GDP to disposable income

The GDP provides information on the development of production. Also important is the question of the consumption possibilities of an economy. Also, information on disposable income are required. The problem of a suitable measure of the standard of living solves the net national income most accurately.

This example illustrates the gradual approach, with data for the year 2007

GDP per capita and wealth

The gross domestic product per capita and GDP per capita is the most important measure of the material well-being in a country or a region. It is calculated as follows:

In 2007, were 16 of the 20 states with the lowest GDP per capita in Africa. Africa is also the continent with the lowest per capita GDP - it was only U.S. $ 1,400 per year in 2007.


GDP alone and of itself does not allow statements to make regarding prosperity, quality of life or justice for and between people of an economy. Also, the long-term state of the welfare state guarantee schemes ( statutory pension insurance, health insurance, long term care insurance ), and other factors such as social peace, air quality, recreation areas and the condition of the natural resources are not measured by GDP. Therefore, the following economic indices can alternatively or additionally be used to include these objectives in economic policy:

  • Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI ), a measure of the economic performance of an economy, which is intended to reflect the sustainability of growth. An economic activity at the expense of serious environmental damage, their remedy is future generations are significantly more expensive than the present population benefited from the activity, recorded in the GDP as positive, negative in the GPI
  • Gini index, a measure of how equal or unequal the income and wealth distribution in a country
  • Happy Planet Index ( HPI), a measure of the ecological efficiency of the production of satisfaction involving life satisfaction, life expectancy and ecological footprint
  • Human Development Index ( HDI), formed from the GNI per capita measured in purchasing power parity involving life expectancy and educational attainment
  • Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare ( ISEW ), a precursor of the GPI index.
  • The conversion of national GDP based on nominal exchange rates is misleading in some issues. Another measure is the purchasing power parity exchange rate ( purchasing power parity, PPP) dar. The Big Mac Index is an exchange rate at which a Big Mac in all countries the same costs as in the United States. This measure provides a better comparison because Big Macs are not traded internationally. Prices for Big Macs contain information on prices for no ( international) tradable goods. The average prices ( for non-tradable goods ) are typically lower than prices in developed economies in poor countries. An official exchange rate is mainly based on prices ( internationally ) tradable goods and thus overestimated the level of prices in poor countries.


The explanatory power of GDP with respect to the economic performance of the people in an economy is inaccurate because the following factors are not or only partially included in the calculation:

  • Moonlighting or the entire economy
  • Subsistence
  • Unpaid activities such as domestic work and childcare, home care, childcare, DIY, honorary offices or hobbies

It is summarized to say that GDP only the ( traded ) output, does not reflect the wealth of an economy. Even a country and time comparison is due to its limited.

The by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy convened Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress ( Stiglitz -Sen -Fitoussi Commission), which included five Nobel Prize winners, should create an alternative calculation. The Commission asked the statisticians to look not only on economic growth, but to determine the current " well-being " of a country. Here, the GDP continues to play a role. However, for example, would also have the average household income, family work, leisure, health and the state of the environment are also included.