The opening section presents basic economic information on the United States. It is intended to provide a backdrop for the specific investigation of wealth and consumption that follows. Measures such as Gross Domestic Product, Net Stock of Fixed Reproducible Tangible Wealth, and Foreign Direct Investment for the entire country outline the economic base from which the United States creates wealth and supports regional variations in consumption. Tables detailing state product information are also presented so that the user can see wealth and consumption throughout the United States.
A1. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Product (GNP): These indicators represent the total material capacity of the U.S. economy since the 1960s. They measure the total goods and services produced by labor and capital within the country (GDP) and owned by residents of the U.S. in foreign countries as well as within the country's geographic borders (GNP). The first table below presents GDP and GNP across a time series; it represents the data in current dollars, which does not factor out the effects of inflation. (See Appendix: International Perspective to compare U.S. GDP with that of other countries of the world.)
The next several tables and graphs outline the general categories of outlays that comprise GDP, that is, the final uses of the country's total production. As such, they indicate the way in which GDP can be employed in the generation of wealth and consumption. The tables and graphs detail the components of GDP both in current and constant dollars from 1960 through 1997.
A2. Relation of National Product to Income and Saving: The next two tables represent how the national product accounts--GDP and GNP along with Net National Product--relate to national income and finally personal income and savings. The manner in which aggregate national product finally translates into personal income, disposable income, and then savings shows how personal wealth relies on the productive capacity of the economy.
A3. Net Stock of Fixed Reproducible Tangible Wealth: These tables and charts represent the disposition of tangible wealth (buildings, equipment, etc.) in the U.S. economy from 1980 through 1996. Each table breaks down the components of tangible wealth into private, government, and consumer-owned assets and presents the data in both current and chained, or constant, dollars.
A4. Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: These tables and charts detail the investment made by foreign entities in the United States both in the aggregate and on a state-by-state basis. They help to measure the extent to which the income-generating assets of the country derive from foreign-owned investment.
A5. Gross State Product: The several tables and charts concerning state product included in this chapter represent the economic capacity of individual states with the country. They help to signify the size of the economic base from which individuals within states generate wealth and consumption.