U.S. economic growth: gross output

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

Gross output represents the market value of all services and goods produced in a nation’s economy. This value differs slightly from gross domestic product (GDP), which is often used to measure the economic performance of a country. Gross output consists of products sold to final consumers (the GDP) as well as products sold to other industries where it is used as material or input. Today we will explore historical data (provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis) on the gross output of the U.S. economy.

In 2016, the largest contributing industries to the country’s gross output included manufacturing, finance and insurance, professional services, education and health care. These were also the leading industries through the last 20 years, and they all displayed growth over this period. The manufacturing and finance industries both reached over $5,000 billion of real gross output in 2016.

The tree diagram above shows the contributions from each industry group to the U.S. real gross product in 2016. You can zoom into a particular category by clicking on it — some industries have multiple levels of detail. The manufacturing and financial industries accounted for about 40 percent of all gross output in 2016.

If we examine the relative growth during the last year, the health care and entertainment industries take the top spots. The gross output of the health care and social assistance industries increased 5.2 percent in 2106. Other high-growth industries include the professional services and information industries. Unlike most of the top-level industry categories, wholesale trade actually declined last year, decreasing by 1.6 percent from 2015.

Hospitals played a large role in the growth of the health care industry; they grew by 6.4 percent, producing a total of $765 billion in real gross output. Within the entertainment industry, the fastest-growing sub-industry was the performing arts and spectator sports sector, which increased by 5 percent and generated $159 billion in real gross output.

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About Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science


Alexander is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science. He currently holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Applied Math. He has experience working for industry major companies performing research in the fields of machine learning, data mining and natural language processing. In his free time, Alexander enjoys hiking, Nordic skiing and traveling.


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