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Gross Domestic Product (GDP): An Overview

Gross domestic product (GDP) is one of the most prominent indicators of a nation’s economic health and is probably the one that economists and investors pay close attention to. Several factors are taken into account while calculating a country’s GDP, including its consumption and investment.

What is Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? 

Gross domestic product (GDP) represents the economic value of all taxable goods and services that are produced within the borders of a country over a certain timeframe. This includes domestic and foreign production within the country. Economy health is primarily assessed using this indicator. 

The GDP statistic measures the total monetary value of all the goods and services produced by an economy during the previous quarter or year. In terms of measuring the size and growth of an economy, the GDP is considered the most reliable indicator. Growing GDP means that businesses are making more money, and that’s a good thing. The numbers also reflect that living standards in the country have improved. When GDP declines, it reflects vice versa. 

GDP fluctuations may also be measured by quarterly GDP comparisons with the previous quarter, as well as what economists predict for the current quarter. 

How GDP Is Calculated?

A country’s GDP is calculated by accumulating all the private and public consumption, investments, government expenditures, business inventories, capital expenditures, and the foreign trade balance. Subtracting imports from exports, we arrive at the value of the foreign trade balance.  

Traditionally, GDP is measured by national government statistical agencies within each country, as the private sector does not usually have access to the information needed, especially information on government expenditures and production. 

GDP

Several methods can be used to calculate GDP, but when performed correctly, they all yield the same result. Here are the three best methods: 

Expenditure method:

Also called the spending method. Estimates the amount of money spent by different sectors in a country. A country’s expenditure GDP is calculated by:

GDP = Consumption + Investment + Government Spending + (Exports – Imports) 

GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)

Consumption covers private consumption and consumer spending which accounts for the majority of growth in the economy. A higher level of consumer confidence results in higher spending, while a lower level of confidence results in less spending. 

The Investment consists of either domestic investing or capital expenditures. The amount of money businesses spends on their operations, which is important since it increases employment and production in the country. 

Government spending stands for the government’s expenditures on infrastructure, purchasing equipment, and paying salaries. This becomes particularly important when business investment and consumer spending drop, as during a recession. 

Net exports are calculated by subtracting imports from exports. The sum of all expenditures for domestic and foreign businesses constitutes. Net exports, also called foreign trade balance, is one of the most crucial components of a country’s GDP. A country’s GDP will increase as long as it exports more goods and services to foreign countries than it purchases from them. A country that experiences a trade surplus is said to be in this position. 

In the opposite case, if domestic consumers spend more on foreign products than domestic producers can sell to foreign consumers, there is a trade deficit. In this case, the country’s GDP tends to decline.

Production method:

As opposed to measuring the inputs, the production method estimates the value of the output. The cost of intermediate goods, such as materials or services, is subtracted. Economic growth is measured by considering the completed economic activities.

Income method:

The income method falls somewhere between the spending method and the production method. This measure considers all the earnings from all the production factors within an economy. This includes profits from businesses include labor wages, rent from land ownership, interest on investments, and returns on investments. 

This method makes the necessary adjustments for items that were not incurred to cover various factors of production (FOP). Taxes on sales and property are some of the indirect business expenses. The total economic income is calculated by adding depreciation to the national income.

Types of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

A country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is divided into four categories, each revealing a characteristic of its economy and national income:

Nominal GDP

Nominal GDP measures the country’s economic production, taking current prices into account. The impact of inflation and the rate of price increases are not taken into consideration. In nominal GDP, all goods and services are measured at the prices that are sold during that particular year. Nominal GDP is measured in either local currency or U.S. dollars at current exchange rates for comparison of countries’ GDPs. 

Nominal GDP is used in comparing quarterly production within a year. The real GDP is used when comparing GDP over two or more years. The removal of inflation allows the comparison to focus solely on volume as inflation is not present. 

Real GDP 

Real GDP is a measure of a country’s total production of goods and services during a specific period, adjusted for inflation. The prices are kept constant over a period to isolate inflation or deflation from the output. 

Inflation affects this economic indicator since it determines the monetary value of goods and services. 

Even if prices rise, it may not affect the quality and quantity of goods and services produced. For this reason, economists adjust inflation to compute real GDP. 

To accomplish this, the output for a given year is adjusted for prices prevalent in the base year. By comparing the country’s growth year-over-year (YoY), you can determine whether the economy is really booming. 

Inflation is measured by the price deflator, which measures the difference between the prices in the current and base years. As the market value changes, the YoY difference between the outputs is narrowed. 

GDP Price Deflator = Nominal GDP / Real GDP x 100

GDP Growth Rate

A country’s GDP growth rate tells us how the economy has changed year-over-year or quarter-over-quarter. It gives us a sense of how rapidly the economy is expanding. 

The growth rate is expressed in terms of a percent and is used by economic policymakers. Inflation and unemployment rates are closely correlated with the growth rate.

GDP Per Capita

Per capita GDP defines how much income or output is generated per person to determine living standards and productivity. GDP per capita can be calculated in nominal, real, and purchasing power parity (PPP). 

Per-capita GDP measures how much economic output each citizen contributes to the economy. The market value of GDP per person also serves as a great indicator of national prosperity.

GDP Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

Some economists use PPP to determine how a country’s growth measures in international currencies, even though it is not a direct measure of this economic indicator. 

They use a method for adjusting the differences between local prices and living costs to compare real income, living standards, and real output between countries.

How GDP affects the Value of the Currency?

GDP is such a mainstream measurement that many important decisions that affect the lives of everyday people are based on. It has an effect on a country’s job opportunities, investment status, and currency exchange rate

GDP

When it comes to international money dealings, currency exchange rates play a momentous role in the investor choices and timing of transactions. Though the relationship is not direct, it is quite strong. 

GDP has three main effects on currency exchange rates. 

  • Firstly, when the GDP of a country rises, the currency value of that country also rises. It also works the other way around. A weakening currency is also a result of a weakening economy. Due to this, a country has a fairly large incentive to maintain a positive growth trajectory.  
  • Secondly, many international corporations and investors consider GDP when making investment decisions. The majority of investors put their money into countries with strong GDP growth. Since investment generally strengthens a country’s currency, GDP indirectly affects it by influencing investment decisions. 
  • Thirdly, most national central banks, including the US Federal Reserve, also consider GDP growth rates when deciding whether or not they should change interest rates. 

What Forex Traders Must Understand?

If you trade forex based on fundamental analysis, you need to understand how the indicators tend to influence the market. Once you master this mechanism to perfection, you can be able to enter the market in a timely manner, preparing the most effective strategies for capitalizing on the published data. 

Markets like the U.S., Britain, Japan, and the European Union are most likely to affect Forex currencies once GDP data have been released. China and emerging countries (for example, India and Brazil) are constantly monitored, as they are still in the early stages of economic development.


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