Nov 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Charted: Gross domestic income

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released second-quarter GDP statistics just before Thanksgiving. You could be forgiven for having missed it — the report is normally just a minor revision to numbers that have already been released. This report, however, is worth a second look.

Why it matters: The BEA calculates GDP in two different ways — gross domestic product, and gross domestic income, or GDI. Economically speaking, the two are identical. But they're measured in different manners, which means that the numbers reported by the BEA can differ in interesting ways.

By the numbers: GDI came in at $23.8 trillion in the second quarter, significantly higher than the $23.2 trillion number for GDP.

  • The growth rate was higher, too: Nominal GDI was up 14% from a year previously, while GDP was up just 9.7%.

The bottom line: The true size of the economy probably lies somewhere between the two numbers. This means that we're bigger, and growing faster than the official GDP statistics would suggest.

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