Economic Cycle

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DEFINITION of 'Economic Cycle'

The natural fluctuation of the economy between periods of expansion (growth) and contraction (recession). Factors such as gross domestic product (GDP), interest rates, levels of employment and consumer spending can help to determine the current stage of the economic cycle.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Economic Cycle'

An economy is deemed to be in the expansion stage of the economic cycle when gross domestic product (GDP) is rapidly increasing. During times of expansion, investors seek to purchase companies in technology, capital goods and basic energy. During times of contraction, investors will look to purchase companies such as utilities, financials and healthcare.

RELATED TERMS
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  2. Recession

    A significant decline in activity across the economy, lasting ...
  3. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

    An inflation-adjusted measure that reflects the value of all ...
  4. Contraction

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  5. Stagflation

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  6. Expansion

    The phase of the business cycle when the economy moves from a ...
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