Using Macroeconomic Indicators to Enact an Ambitious Circular Economy

Ben Lowe, Josep Pinyol Alberich, Leandro Llorente-Gonzalez*, Mohammad Javad Ramezankhani, Meletios Bimpizas-Pinis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The circular economy has the potential to promote systemic change towards a sustainable future. However, the dominance of technical and market-oriented considerations has placed the circular economy as part of an eco-modernist agenda, which retains growth in gross domestic product as the overarching priority. In this context, we analyse 12 existing macroeconomic indicators, developed and implemented by governments and international organisations, and determine if they could enact alternative notions of circularity. Specifically, we focus on the performative role that indicators can play in both defining and surmounting such reductionist views, thus helping us to address the world we want to create. We find
that many of these indicators are agents of the status quo, but that some could disrupt the omnipotence of GDP thereby getting the macroeconomic conditions right for a more ambitious understanding of the circular economy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalCircular Economy and Sustainability
Early online date22 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2022


  • Circularity metrics · Environmental sustainability · Macroeconomic indicators · Resource efficiency · Well-being

Cite this