Economists traditionally use Gross Domestic Product to measure economic progress. If GDP is rising, the economy is good and the nation is moving forward. If GDP is falling, the economy is in trouble and the nation is losing ground. From a strictly numerical perspective, GDP provides an easy-to-follow indicator of economic health. From the perspective of a citizen living with the day-to-day realities of life, GDP can be rather misleading.
Read more in Forbes, Personal Finance