Various types of economic indicators or concepts related to measuring economic growth

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Gross domestic product is the value of all final goods and services produced within the boundary of a nation during one year. In India one year means from 1st April to 31st March of the next year.
GDP calculation includes income of foreigners in a Country but excludes income of those people who are living outside of that country.

National Income accounting


Net Domestic Product (NDP)

NDP is calculated by deducting the depreciation of plant and Machinery from GDP.

NDP = Gross Domestic Product – Depreciation


Gross National Product (GNP)

GNP is the value of all final goods and services produced by the residents of a country in a financial year

While Calculating GNP, income of foreigners in a country is excluded but income of people who are living outside of that country is included. The value of GNP is calculated on the basis of GDP.

GNP = GDP + X – M


X = income of the people of a country who are living outside of the Country
M = income of the foreigners in a country


Net National Product (NNP)

Net National Product (NNP) in an economy is the GNP after deducting the loss due to depreciation.

NNP = GNP – Depreciation


NNP at Factor Cost:

It is the value of NNP when the value of goods and services is taken at the production cost.


NNP at Market Price:

It is the value of NNP at consumer cost.

NNP at market cost = NNP at factor cost + Indirect taxes – Subsidies


Domestic Income:

Income generated (or earned) by factors of production within the country from its own resources is called domestic income or domestic product.

Domestic income includes:

(i) Wages and salaries, (ii) rents, including imputed house rents, (iii) interest, (iv) dividends, (v) undistributed corporate profits, including surpluses of public undertakings, (vi) mixed incomes consisting of profits of unincorporated firms, self- employed persons, partnerships, etc., and (vii) direct taxes.

Since domestic income does not include income earned from abroad, it can also be shown as: Domestic Income = National Income-Net income earned from abroad. Thus the difference between domestic income f and national income is the net income earned from abroad. If we add net income from abroad to domestic income, we get national income, i.e., National Income = Domestic Income + Net income earned from abroad.

But the net national income earned from abroad may be positive or negative. If exports exceed import, net income earned from abroad is positive. In this case, national income is greater than domestic income. On the other hand, when imports exceed exports, net income earned from abroad is negative and domestic income is greater than national income.

Private Income:

Private income is income obtained by private individuals from any source, productive or otherwise, and the retained income of corporations. It can be arrived at from NNP at Factor Cost by making certain additions and deductions.

The additions include transfer payments such as pensions, unemployment allowances, sickness and other social security benefits, gifts and remittances from abroad, windfall gains from lotteries or from horse racing, and interest on public debt. The deductions include income from government departments as well as surpluses from public undertakings, and employees’ contribution to social security schemes like provident funds, life insurance, etc.

Thus Private Income = National Income (or NNP at Factor Cost) + Transfer Payments + Interest on Public Debt — Social Security — Profits and Surpluses of Public Undertakings.

Personal Income:

Personal income is the total income received by the individuals of a country from all sources before payment of direct taxes in one year. Personal income is never equal to the national income, because the former includes the transfer payments whereas they are not included in national income.

Personal income is derived from national income by deducting undistributed corporate profits, profit taxes, and employees’ contributions to social security schemes. These three components are excluded from national income because they do reach individuals.

But business and government transfer payments, and transfer payments from abroad in the form of gifts and remittances, windfall gains, and interest on public debt which are a source of income for individuals are added to national income. Thus Personal Income = National Income – Undistributed Corporate Profits – Profit Taxes – Social Security Contribution + Transfer Payments + Interest on Public Debt.

Personal income differs from private income in that it is less than the latter because it excludes undistributed corporate profits.

Thus Personal Income = Private Income – Undistributed Corporate Profits – Profit Taxes.

Disposable Income:

Disposable income or personal disposable income means the actual income which can be spent on consumption by individuals and families. The whole of the personal income cannot be spent on consumption, because it is the income that accrues before direct taxes have actually been paid. Therefore, in order to obtain disposable income, direct taxes are deducted from personal income. Thus Disposable Income=Personal Income – Direct Taxes.

But the whole of disposable income is not spent on consumption and a part of it is saved. Therefore, disposable income is divided into consumption expenditure and savings. Thus Disposable Income = Consumption Expenditure + Savings.

If disposable income is to be deduced from national income, we deduct indirect taxes plus subsidies, direct taxes on personal and on business, social security payments, undistributed corporate profits or business savings from it and add transfer payments and net income from abroad to it.

Thus Disposable Income = National Income – Business Savings – Indirect Taxes + Subsidies – Direct Taxes on Persons – Direct Taxes on Business – Social Security Payments + Transfer Payments + Net Income from abroad.

Real Income:

Real income is national income expressed in terms of a general level of prices of a particular year taken as base. National income is the value of goods and services produced as expressed in terms of money at current prices. But it does not indicate the real state of the economy.

It is possible that the net national product of goods and services this year might have been less than that of the last year, but owing to an increase in prices, NNP might be higher this year. On the contrary, it is also possible that NNP might have increased but the price level might have fallen, as a result national income would appear to be less than that of the last year. In both the situations, the national income does not depict the real state of the country. To rectify such a mistake, the concept of real income has been evolved.

In order to find out the real income of a country, a particular year is taken as the base year when the general price level is neither too high nor too low and the price level for that year is assumed to be 100. Now the general level of prices of the given year for which the national income (real) is to be determined is assessed in accordance with the prices of the base year. For this purpose the following formula is employed.

Real NNP = NNP for the Current Year x Base Year Index (=100) / Current Year Index

Suppose 1990-91 is the base year and the national income for 1999-2000 is Rs. 20,000 crores and the index number for this year is 250. Hence, Real National Income for 1999-2000 will be = 20000 x 100/250 = Rs. 8000 crores. This is also known as national income at constant prices.

Per Capita Income:

The average income of the people of a country in a particular year is called Per Capita Income for that year. This concept also refers to the measurement of income at current prices and at constant prices. For instance, in order to find out the per capita income for 2001, at current prices, the national income of a country is divided by the population of the country in that year.

National Income accountingSimilarly, for the purpose of arriving at the Real Per Capita Income, this very formula is used.

National Income accountingThis concept enables us to know the average income and the standard of living of the people. But it is not very reliable, because in every country due to unequal distribution of national income, a major portion of it goes to the richer sections of the society and thus income received by the common man is lower than the per capita income.


Nominal and Real GDP:

When GDP is measured on the basis of current price, it is called GDP at current prices or nominal GDP. On the other hand, when GDP is calculated on the basis of fixed prices in some year, it is called GDP at constant prices or real GDP.

Nominal GDP is the value of goods and services produced in a year and measured in terms of rupees (money) at current (market) prices. In comparing one year with another, we are faced with the problem that the rupee is not a stable measure of purchasing power. GDP may rise a great deal in a year, not because the economy has been growing rapidly but because of rise in prices (or inflation).

On the contrary, GDP may increase as a result of fall in prices in a year but actually it may be less as compared to the last year. In both 5 cases, GDP does not show the real state of the economy. To rectify the underestimation and overestimation of GDP, we need a measure that adjusts for rising and falling prices.

This can be done by measuring GDP at constant prices which is called real GDP. To find out the real GDP, a base year is chosen when the general price level is normal, i.e., it is neither too high nor too low. The prices are set to 100 (or 1) in the base year.


GDP Deflator:

GDP deflator is an index of price changes of goods and services included in GDP. It is a price index which is calculated by dividing the nominal GDP in a given year by the real GDP for the same year and multiplying it by 100. Thus,

National Income accounting