Output Method

In this method, a country’s national income can be calculated by adding the output of all the firms in the economy to determine the nation’s output.

Product method is also known as output method or value added method. In this method, we calculate the national income in terms of final goods and services produced in an economy during a particular period of time. The final goods are those which are either available to the consumers for consumption or become a part of national wealth in the form of investment.

Product method is that which estimates the national income by measuring the contribution of final output and services by each producing enterprise in the domestic territory of a country during a given accounting period.

Classification of Productive Enterprises

The first step in this method of measuring national income is the classification of enterprises. All the productive enterprises in the economy are classified into three main categories, viz. (i) Primary Sector, (ii) Secondary Sector and (iii) Tertiary Sector. Let us briefly explain these sectors.

  • Primary Sector – Primary sector refers to that sector of the economy which exploits natural resources to produce goods. Agriculture and allied activities like mining, quarrying, fishing, forestry etc. are included in this sector.
  • Secondary Sector – The manufacturing sector of the economy which transforms one physical good into another is included in the secondary sector.
  • Tertiary Sector – The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector consists of the provision of services instead of end products

Classification of Output

National output is classified into the following types:

  • Consumer Goods – Consumer goods are those goods which help in the further production of consumer gods. These are also called are also called capital goods.
  • Producer Goods– Producer goods are those goods which help in the further production of consumer goods. These are also called capital goods.
  • Govt. Produced Goods– These include defence, police, education, health care, roads, railways, ports, dams etc.
  • Net Exports– Net exports refer to the value of goods and services exported to the rest of the world minus the value of goods & services imported during an accounting year.

National Income accounting

Measurement of Value of Output

There are two methods of measuring the value of output. They are (i) Final output method, (ii) Value added method. Below we discuss these two approaches of product method of measuring national income.

(i) Final Output Method

In final method, we have to estimate the following element involved to arrive at the correct figure of the final output.

(a) Value of output

Here output means final goods as well as intermediate goods. The value of all these goods can be estimated by multiplying the quantity of output of each producing unit with the market price. This is equal to the value of sales and the change in stock.

(b) Value of intermediate consumption

The goods and services used by the firms as inputs are known as intermediate consumption. To calculate the value of intermediate consumption, we have to multiply the intermediate goods with the prices paid by the enterprises to purchase these goods.

(c) Consumption of fixed capital

Consumption of fixed capital means depreciation. When goods are produced, there is wear and tear of machines leading to the loss of value of the capital assets. To calculate this loss of value in an accounting period, we have to deduct the value of capital asset at the end of the period from the value of the asset at the beginning of the period.

According to final output method, the value of intermediate goods is deducted from the value of output. The quantity produced by each producing enterprise is multiplied by the market price. This gives us the value of output. From this, we deduct the value of intermediate consumption to arrive at the value of the output.


Value of final output= Value of output- Value of intermediate goods

When we add the market value of final output in the primary sector, secondary sector and that of tertiary sector, we arrive at gross domestic product at market price.

GDP at Market Price = Market value of final output of primary sector + Market value of final output of tertiary sector

By deducting depreciation from GDP at market price we can get net domestic product at market price. When we add net factor income from abroad, we get GNP and NNP at market price.