Vermont's economy may not be improving as fast as we think according to a new metric developed at the University of Vermont.
The Genuine Progress Indicator or GPI takes into account social and environmental factors of our economic growth. It places a monetary value on how what we buy impacts our lives and our environment. Traditional indicators-- like Gross State Product-- only measure economic transactions.
According to the GPI, Vermont's economy has only grown 0.6 percent per year over the past 50 years, which is less than the 2-percent growth measured by the GSP.
"So, by looking at a much broader range of indicators-- economic, social and environmental-- it calculates more accurately the real cost to the economy of our economic activity, as well as those real benefits," said Sam Carlson of the Gund Institute at UVM.
But some economists say placing tangible dollar amounts on issues like water quality or obesity rates is not an accurate measure of economic growth.