The Gross Domestic Product ( Gdp ) Of The United States

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In 2014, the most recent complete fiscal year, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States was $17.42 trillion (The World Bank, 2015). This is an increase of 3.9% over the 2013 GDP of $16.7 trillion and a drastic 17.2% increase over the GDP just 5 years ago in 2010 (Trading Economics, 2015). The US GDP represented 28.1% of the total world economy during that time (Trading Economics, 2015). Along with the improved GDP, the US has also experienced a reduction in the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate at the beginning of 2010 was 9.8% and it fell to 5.6% by the end of 2014 (United States Department of Labor, 2015). Lower unemployment rates and a stronger economy have led to increased consumer confidence. When consumers are confident in the economy and their own personal finances they are more likely to spend money. Lower gas prices in the last year or two have also led to consumers having a larger amount of discretionary income. When consumers are employed plus their cost of daily expenses is lower, they have more money to spend on non-essential goods or luxury items. Higher discretionary income and consumer confidence also caused a ramp-up of construction activities. Increased consumer spending drives up the GDP of the country since consumer consumption accounts for two thirds of the GDP (Mceachern, 2014). Economists are predicting a 2.5% GDP increase for the full year of 2015 (Payne, 2015). Continued strong consumer spending levels play a strong role in the
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