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World Economic Indicators

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Region's gross domestic product, or GDP, is one of several measures of the size of its economy. The GDP of a country is defined as the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. Until the 1980s the term GNP or gross national product was used. The two terms GDP and GNP are almost identical. "Gross" means depreciation of capital stock included. Without depreciation, with net investment instead of gross investment, it is the Net domestic product. Consumption and investment in this equation are the expenditure on final goods and services. The exports minus imports part of the equation (often called cumulative exports) then adjusts this by subtracting the part of this expenditure not produced domestically (the imports), and adding back in domestic production not consumed at home (the exports).

FTSE Index

The FTSE 100 Index (pronounced footsie) is a share index of the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, begun on January 3, 1984. Component companies must meet a number of requirements set out by the FTSE Group, including having a full listing on the London Stock Exchange with a Sterling or Euro dominated price on SETS, and meeting certain tests on nationality, free float, and liquidity. Trading lasts from 0800-1629 (when the closing auction starts), and closing values are taken at 1635. The highest value of the index to date was 6950.6, set on December 30, 1999. The index is seen as a barometer of success of the British economy and is the leading share index in Europe. It is maintained by the FTSE Group, a now independent company which originated as a joint venture between the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange (hence the abbreviation Financial Times Stock Exchange). According to the FTSE Group's website the FTSE 100 companies represent about 80% of the UK share market.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Index

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DJI) is one of several stock market indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company founder Charles Dow. Dow compiled the index as a way to gauge the performance of the industrial component of America's stock markets. It is the oldest continuing U.S. market index. Today, the average consists of 30 of the largest and most widely held public companies in the United States. The "industrial" portion of the name is largely historical - many of the 30 modern components have little to do with heavy industry. To compensate for the effects of stock splits and other adjustments, it is currently a weighted average, not the actual average of the prices of its component stocks.