The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the broadest measure of aggregate economic activity and encompasses every sector of the economy.
Real GDP is always quoted at a quarterly annual rate, and measures how much the economy has grown over a 3 month period.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports:
Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012 (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 3.0 percent.
The changes from quarter to quarter and year to year:
A couple more historical graphs give it some context.
Tags: Gross Domestic Product