Gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure of the total amount of goods and services produced by a country in a specific period of time, usually a year or a quarter. As such, it is the most comprehensive single measure of the total economic output of a country and is used by businesses and economic policy-makers alike to analyse the health of the economy.

It is most commonly calculated by adding together the total amount of investment, consumption, government spending, plus the value of exports minus the value of imports. By dividing the figure by the size of the population you get ‘per capita GDP’, which tells you how productive the average citizen is.

• See Tim Bennett’s video tutorial: What is GDP?