Gross Domestic Product
ECONOMICS HAS RECEIVED A BAD RAP. In the mid-nineteenth century, the great Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle dubbed this discipline “the dismal science,” and jokes about economists being more boring than accountants abound on Wall Street. But truth be told, there is nothing more exciting than watching the newswire on a trading floor of a money-center bank minutes ahead of the release of a major market-moving economic report. One of the top excitement generators is the report on gross domestic product (GDP)—an indicator that is a combination of economics and accounting.
Economists, policy makers, and politicians revere GDP above all other economic statistics because it is the broadest, most comprehensive barometer available ...