Gross domestic product is the measure of the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period. GDP is measured in absolute dollar values and is expressed as a comparison to the previous quarter or year. Taken as a whole, economic production has a large impact on nearly every aspect of the economy. When GDP is increasing and the economy is strong, there is usually low unemployment and wage increases as businesses demand labor to meet the growing economy. A measurable move in GDP, whether it is up or down, can have a significant effect on employment, income, the stock market and the level of interest rates.

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