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An Economic Barometer

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  1. An Economic Barometer • What exactly is GDP? • How do we use GDP to tell us whether our economy is in a recession or how rapidly our economy is expanding? • How do we take the effects of inflation out of GDP to reveal the rate of growth of our economic well-being? • And how to we compare economic well-being across countries?

  2. Gross Domestic Product • GDP Defined • GDP or gross domestic product is the market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given time period. • This definition has four parts: • Market value • Final goods and services • Produced within a country • In a given time period

  3. Gross Domestic Product • Market Value • GDP is a market value—goods and services are valued at their market prices. • To add apples and oranges, computers and popcorn, we add the market values so we have a total value of output in dollars.

  4. Gross Domestic Product • Final Goods and Services • GDP is the value of the final goods and services produced. • A final good (or service) is an item bought by its final user during a specified time period. • A final good contrasts with an intermediate good, which is an item that is produced by one firm, bought by another firm, and used as a component of a final good or service. • Excluding intermediate goods and services avoids double counting.

  5. Gross Domestic Product • Produced Within a Country • GDP measures production within a country—domestic production. • In a Given Time Period • GDP measures production during a specific time period, normally a year or a quarter of a year.

  6. Gross Domestic Product • GDP and the Circular Flow of Expenditure and Income • GDP measures the value of production, which also equals total expenditure on final goods and total income. • The equality of income and output shows the link between productivity and living standards. • The circular flow diagram illustrates the equality of income, expenditure, and the value of production.

  7. Gross Domestic Product • The circular flow diagram shows the transactions among households, firms, governments, and the rest of the world.

  8. Gross Domestic Product • These transactions take place in factor markets, goods markets, and financial markets.

  9. Gross Domestic Product • Firms hire factors of production from households. The blue flow, Y, shows total income paid by firms to households.

  10. Gross Domestic Product • Households buy consumer goods and services. The red flow, C, shows consumption expenditure.

  11. Gross Domestic Product • Households save, S, and pay net taxes, T. Firms borrow some of what households save to finance their investment.

  12. Gross Domestic Product • Firms buy capital goods from other firms. The red flow I represents this investment by firms.

  13. Gross Domestic Product • Governments buy goods and services, G, and borrow or repay debt if spending exceeds or is less than net taxes.

  14. Gross Domestic Product • The rest of the world buys goods and services from us, X, and sells us goods and services, M. Net exports are X – M.

  15. Gross Domestic Product • And the rest of the world borrows from us or lends to us depending on whether net exports are positive or negative.

  16. Gross Domestic Product • The blue and red flows are the circular flow of expenditure and income. The green flows are financial flows.

  17. Gross Domestic Product • The sum of the red flows equals the blue flow.

  18. Gross Domestic Product • That is: Y = C + I + G + X – M

  19. Gross Domestic Product • The circular flow demonstrates how GDP can be measured in two ways. • Aggregate expenditure • Total expenditure on final goods and services, equals the value of output of final goods and services, which is GDP. • Total expenditure = C + I + G + (X – M).

  20. Gross Domestic Product • Aggregate income • Aggregate income equals the total amount paid for the use of factors of production: wages, interest, rent, and profit. • Firms pay out all their receipts from the sale of final goods, so income equals expenditure, • Y = C + I + G + (X – M).

  21. Gross Domestic Product • If G exceeds T, the government has a budget deficit(G –T) and the government borrows from the financial markets. • If T exceeds G, the government has a budget surplus (T – G) and this surplus flows to the financial markets. • If U.S. imports exceed U.S. exports, the United States borrows an amount equal to (M – X) from the rest of the world. Rest of world saving finances some investment in the United States. • If U.S. exports exceed U.S. imports, the United States lends an amount equal to (X – M) to the rest of the world. U.S. saving finances some investment in other countries.

  22. Gross Domestic Product • How Investment Is Financed • Investment is financed from three sources: • 1. Private saving, S • 2. Government budget surplus, (T – G) • 3. Borrowing from the rest of the world (M – X).

  23. Gross Domestic Product • Gross and Net Domestic Product • “Gross” means before deducting the depreciation of capital. The opposite of gross is net. • To understand this distinction, we need to distinguish between flows and stocks. • Flows and Stocks in Macroeconomics • A flow is a quantity per unit of time. • A stock is the quantity that exists at a point in time.

  24. Gross Domestic Product • Wealth and Saving • Wealth, the value of all the things that people own, is a stock. • Saving is the flow that changes the stock of wealth. • Wealth at the start of this year equals wealth at the start of last year plus saving during last year.

  25. Gross Domestic Product • Capital and Investment • Capital is the plant, equipment, and inventories of raw and semi-finished materials that are used to produce other goods. • Capital is a stock. • Investment is the flow that changes the stock of capital.

  26. Gross Domestic Product • Depreciation is the decrease in the capital stock that results from wear and tear and obsolescence. • Gross investment is the total amount spent on purchases of new capital and on replacing depreciated capital. • Net investment is the change in the capital stock. • Net investment = Gross investment  Depreciation.

  27. Gross Domestic Product • Figure illustrates the relationships among the capital stock, gross investment, depreciation, and net investment.

  28. Gross Domestic Product • The Short Run Meets the Long Run • Capital and investment play a central role in the understanding the growth and fluctuations in real GDP. • Investment adds to the capital stock, so investment is one source of real GDP growth. • Investment fluctuates, so investment is one source of fluctuations in real GDP.

  29. Measuring U.S. GDP • The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses two approaches to measure GDP: • The expenditure approach • The income approach

  30. Measuring U.S. GDP • The Expenditure Approach • The expenditure approach measures GDP as the sum of consumption expenditure, investment, government expenditure on goods and services, and net exports. • GDP = C + I + G + (X M) • Table in the textbook shows the expenditure approach with data for 2006. • GDP = $9,079 + $2,215 + $2,479  $765 • = $13,008

  31. Measuring U.S. GDP • The Income Approach • The income approach measures GDP by summing the incomes that firms pay households for the factors of production they hire.

  32. Measuring U.S. GDP • The National Income and Expenditure Accounts divide incomes into five categories: 1. Compensation of employees 2. Net interest 3. Rental income 4. Corporate profits 5. Proprietors’ income • These five income components sum to net domestic income at factor cost.

  33. Real GDP and the Price Level • Real GDP is the value of final goods and services produced in a given year when valued at constant prices. • Calculating Real GDP • The first step in calculating real GDP is to calculate nominal GDP. • Nominal GDP is the value of goods and services produced during a given year valued at the prices that prevailed in that same year.

  34. Real GDP and the Price Level • Nominal GDP Calculations • The table provides data for 2005 and 2006. • In 2005, • Expenditure on balls = $100 • Expenditure on bats = $100 • Nominal GDP = $200

  35. Real GDP and the Price Level • In 2006, • Expenditure on balls = $80 • Expenditure on bats = $495 • Nominal GDP = $575

  36. Real GDP and the Price Level • Base-Year Prices Value of Real GDP • This method of calculating real GDP is to value each year’s output at the prices of a base year. • In the base year, real GDP equals nominal GDP. • Suppose 2005 is the base year, then real GDP in 2005 is $200. • This method is the traditional method.

  37. Real GDP and the Price Level • Using the traditional base-year prices method to calculate real GDP in 2006: • Expenditure on balls in 2006 valued at 2005 prices is $160. • Expenditure on bats in 2006 valued at 2005 prices is $110. • So real GDP in 2006 would be recorded as $270.

  38. Real GDP and the Price Level • The new method of calculating real GDP, which is called the chain-weighted output index. • The chain-weighted output index method, uses the prices of two adjacent years to calculate the real GDP growth rate. • This calculation has four steps described on the next slide.

  39. Real GDP and the Price Level • Step 1: Value last year’s production and this year’s production at last year’s prices and then calculate the growth rate of this number from last year to this year. • Step 2: Value last year’s production and this year’s production at this year’s prices and then calculate the growth rate of this number from last year to this year. • Step 3: Calculate the average of the two growth rates. This average growth rate is the growth rate of real GDP from last year to this year. • Step 4: Apply the growth rate this year to last year’s real GDP to calculate this year’s real GDP.

  40. Real GDP and the Price Level • We’ve done step 1. • Value of 2005 quantities at 2005 prices (GDP in 2005) is $200. • Value of 2006 quantities at 2005 prices is $270. • At 2005 prices, the value of production increased from $200 to $270—an increase of 35 percent.

  41. Real GDP and the Price Level • Step 2. • Value of 2005 quantities at 2006 prices is $500. • Value of 2006 quantities at 2006 prices (GDP in 2006) is $575. • At 2006 prices, the value of production increased from $500 to $575—an increase of 15 percent.

  42. Real GDP and the Price Level • Step 3. • At 2005 prices, the 2006 growth rate is 35 percent. • At 2006 prices, the 2006 growth rate is 15 percent. • The average of these two growth rates is 25 percent.

  43. Real GDP and the Price Level • Step 4. • So with 2005 as the base year, real GDP in 2006 is $250—25 percent more that $200 in 2005. • Real GDP in 2005 is $200 • Real GDP in 2006 is $250

  44. Real GDP and the Price Level • Calculating the Price Level • The average level of prices is called the price level. • One measure of the price level is the GDP deflator, which is an average of the prices of the goods and services in GDP in the current year expressed as a percentage of the base-year prices. • The GDP deflator is calculated in the table on the next slide.

  45. Real GDP and the Price Level • Nominal GDP and real GDP are calculated in the way that you’ve just seen. • GDP Deflator = (Nominal GDP ÷ Real GDP)  100. • In 2005, the GDP deflator is ($200 ÷ $200)  100 = 100. • In 2006, the GDP deflator is ($575 ÷ $250)  100 = 230.

  46. Real GDP and the Price Level • Deflating the GDP Balloon • Nominal GDP increases because production—real GDP– increases.

  47. Real GDP and the Price Level • Nominal GDP also increases because prices rise.

  48. Real GDP and the Price Level • We use the GDP deflator to let the inflation air out of the nominal GDP balloon and reveal real GDP.

  49. The Uses and Limitations of Real GDP • We use real GDP to calculate the economic growth rate. • The economic growth rate is the percentage change in the quantity of goods and services produced from one year to the next. • We measure economic growth so we can make • Economic welfare comparisons across time • International comparisons across countries • Business cycle forecasts

  50. The Uses and Limitations of Real GDP • Economic Welfare Comparisons Over Time • Economic welfare measures the nation’s overall state of economic well-being. • Real GDP is not a perfect measure of economic welfare for seven reasons: • 1. Inflation rate tends to be overestimated because quality improvements are neglected, so real GDP is underestimated. • 2. Real GDP does not include household production— productive activities done in and around the house by members of the household.