Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) reflects the acquisition, less disposal, of fixed assets, i.e. products which are expected to be used in production for several years. Acquisitions include both purchases of assets (new or second-hand) and the construction of assets by producers for their own use. Disposals include sales of assets for scrap as well as sales of used assets in a working condition to other producers: New Zealand, Mexico and some Central European countries import substantial quantities of used assets.
Fixed assets consist of machinery and equipment; dwellings and other buildings; roads, bridges, airfields and dams; orchards and tree plantations; improvements to land such as fencing, leveling and draining; draught animals and other animals that are kept for the milk and wool that they produce; computer software and databases; entertainment, literary or artistic originals, and expenditures on mineral exploration. What all these things have in common is that they contribute to future production. This may not be obvious in the case of dwellings but, in the national accounts, flats and houses are considered to produce housing services which are consumed by owners or tenants over the life of the building.
In calculating the shares, gross fixed capital formation and GDP are both valued at current market prices.