Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Business Cycle

What it is:

The business cycle refers to an economy's periodic patterns of growth, recession, and recovery.

How it works (Example):

An expanding economy is characterized by low unemployment, high productivity, and high consumer spending. When there is a decline in productivity, business revenues start to decline. Companies, consequently, reduce their workforces to cut costs. This results in rising unemployment and lower consumer confidence and spending, which are all hallmarks of a recession

As the recession weakens, incremental increases in productivity and revenues lead to an economic recovery. The unemployment rate is gradually reduced as companies begin hiring again. A decreasing unemployment rate leads to an increase in consumer confidence and spending, and the economy begins expanding again. 

Why it Matters:

Business cycles are of particular interest to economists and policy makers. Government intervention is often introduced during recessionary periods in an effort to hasten recovery. By studying the historical patterns of economic expansion and contraction, it may be possible to understand and forecast future economic trends. 

Related Terms View All
  • Taking the Street
    Let's say John Doe has a Gordon Gekko complex and wants to make some money by...
  • Value Averaging
    Let's assume John Doe has $5,000 in his new-car account. He wants that to grow to $10,000...
  • Junior Capital Pool (JCP)
    Let's say Company XYZ has a new design for widgets. It has not produced anything beyond a...
  • Enrolled Agent (EA)
    To become an EA, a person has to pass a three-part comprehensive IRS test of individual...
  • Qualified Distribution
    A qualified distribution must meet two main requirements. First, it must occur at least...