DEFINITION of 'Expansion'

The phase of the business cycle when the economy moves from a trough to a peak. It is a period when business activity surges and gross domestic product expands until it reaches a peak.

Also known as an "economic recovery."


An expansion is one of two basic business cycle phases. The other is contraction. The transition from expansion to contraction is termed a "peak" and the changeover from contraction to expansion is a trough. Expansions last on average about three to four years but have been known to last anywhere from 12 months to more than 10 years. Much of the 60s was a time of expansion which lasted almost nine years.

  1. Business Cycle

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  2. Demographic Dividend

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  3. Economic Conditions

    The state of the economy in a country or region. Economic conditions ...
  4. Plutonomy

    Economic growth that is powered and consumed by the wealthiest ...
  5. Credit Cycle

    A cycle involving the access to credit by borrowers. Credit cycles ...
  6. Trough

    The stage of the economy's business cycle that marks the end ...
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