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What Is the Role of GDP in Macroeconomics?

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  • Written By: S. Ejim
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2016
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The role of gross domestic product (GDP) in macroeconomics can be seen in the importance of the GDP for the assessment of the state of an economy. GDP is an important component of macroeconomics that measures the total final goods and services produced in a country within a stated period, usually quarterly. This role of GDP in macroeconomics is important because an analysis of the pattern of GDP collected over a certain period will allow interested parties such as governments, organizations and individuals to understand the behavior of the business cycle for that region.

GDP is divided into real GDP and nominal GDP. An understanding of the two concepts will further establish the role of GDP in macroeconomics. Nominal GDP is a figure that does not take into consideration the effect of inflation. Real GDP is adjusted to make allowances for inflation. As such, real GDP is the actual GDP, unlike the nominal GDP, which might mislead potential investors and other parties who use it as a yardstick for measuring the state of the economy.

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Real GDP is the basic factor to study when one is considering the role of GDP in macroeconomics. This is because any decision stemming from the assessment of the GDP must be based on the real GDP for accuracy. An assessment of the real GDP allows governments to gauge the states of their nations' economies. A rise in GDP can be viewed as positive if it is done in a moderate and sustained manner. GDP figures must also maintain a balance that economists deem as desirable for the economy of a nation.

When the GDP rises too sharply until it reaches a level that is higher than what is preferred, this might lead to a period of economic boom that is characterized by increased consumer confidence and excessive spending. Such a period of excess spending might lead to inflation, mainly because demand is often more than supply during such periods. This role of GDP in macroeconomics is important because such periods of intense, unsustainable economic activities usually indicate to economists and other investors that a recession might not be too far away.

Another role of GDP in microeconomics is based on the fact that GDP figures are used by investors to assess the state of the economy in a country before making any investment decisions. Most organizations include an assessment of the GDP quarterly figures in their market and environmental analysis. Others depend on it to make various financial decisions and in the preparation of their periodic financial reports.

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