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Visualization: Real Gross Domestic Product by Component

Gross domestic product (GDP) shown by major component or category, in real (inflation-adjusted) dollars.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce. BEA describes its role: “Along with the Census Bureau, BEA is part of the Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration. BEA produces economic accounts statistics that enable government and business decision-makers, researchers, and the American public to follow and understand the performance of the Nation’s economy. To do this, BEA collects source data, conducts research and analysis, develops and implements estimation methodologies, and disseminates statistics to the public.”

One series BEA produces is gross domestic product (GDP). BEA defines GDP as “the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production.” It is the value of the final goods and services produced. Also, “GDP is also equal to the sum of personal consumption expenditures, gross private domestic investment, net exports of goods and services, and government consumption expenditures and gross investment.”

The interactive visualization I’ve created shows gross domestic product by total and by major sector: Personal consumption, gross private domestic investment, next exports of goods and services, and government.

Another definition from BEA: “Real values are inflation-adjusted estimates — that is, estimates that exclude the effects of price changes.”

The major components of GDP are these, from BEA:

  • Personal consumption expenditures, which measures the value of the goods and services purchased by, or on the behalf of, persons — that is, households, nonprofit institutions that primarily serve households, private noninsured welfare funds, and private trust funds.

  • Gross private fixed investment, which measures additions and replacements to the stock of private fixed assets without deduction of depreciation. Nonresidential fixed investment measures investment by businesses and nonprofit institutions in nonresidential structures, equipment, and intellectual property products. Residential fixed investment measures investment by businesses and households in residential structures and equipment, primarily new construction of single-family and multifamily units.

  • Personal consumption expenditures, which measures the value of the goods and services purchased by, or on the behalf of, persons — that is, households, nonprofit institutions that primarily serve households, private noninsured welfare funds, and private trust funds.

  • Gross private fixed investment, which measures additions and replacements to the stock of private fixed assets without deduction of depreciation. Nonresidential fixed investment measures investment by businesses and nonprofit institutions in nonresidential structures, equipment, and intellectual property products. Residential fixed investment measures investment by businesses and households in residential structures and equipment, primarily new construction of single-family and multifamily units.

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