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NC State Economist Dr. Mike Walden – The Gold Standard of Economic Measures

Every day there seems to be a slew of economic data released, and some of it seems contradictory. Is there one number or statistic that best reflects the condition of the economy? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden answers.

“When I give talks about the economy and the economic outlook all around the state, I emphasize that, yes, there are a lot of numbers out there that can be confusing. But I tell my audience to really focus on one that’s called GDP, gross domestic product.

“The reason economists like this number (is) it’s very comprehensive. It really includes the economic activity – the economic income, the economic spending – that … all players in our economy are doing, from the farmer to the factory worker to the service worker to the university worker. Everyone, everything, gets combined into this one number. So, it’s very easy to track over time. It’s consistent.

“Secondly, it does actually allow us to compare the rates of growth and size of the economy between different countries, because by convention, all countries also use GDP as a comprehensive measure of their economy. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.