Goldilocks Economy

Definition of 'Goldilocks Economy'


An economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession. There are no exact markers of a Goldilocks economy, but it is characterized by a low unemployment rate, increasing asset prices (stocks, real estate, etc.), low interest rates, brisk but steady GDP growth and low inflation.

Investopedia explains 'Goldilocks Economy'


Regulators use fiscal and monetary policy tools to try to create an economy with these conditions. Economic conditions abroad, and regulators’ reactions to them, also influence whether an economy can achieve a Goldilocks state. This state is ideal for investing, because as companies grow, stocks perform well, and in the absence of inflation, bonds will hold their value. If GDP grows too quickly and inflation creeps up too quickly, however, the economy can overheat and a bust can result.

While business cycles vary in intensity and duration, the U.S. economy typically goes through five phases as part of the business cycle: growth/expansion, peak, recession/contraction, trough and recovery. A Goldilocks economy may occur during the recovery and/or growth phases. The U.S. economy of the mid- to late-1990s was considered a Goldilocks economy because it was "not too hot, not too cold, but just right." This term has also been used to describe the economy as it recovered from the tech bubble burst in 2003–2004 and as it expanded in 2013 after the housing bubble burst in 2008. Because we have business cycles, a Goldilocks economy should be considered a temporary state.


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Direct Consolidation Loan

    A loan that combines two or more federal education loans into a single loan. A Direct Consolidation Loan allows the borrower to make a single monthly payment. The loan is facilitated by the U.S. Department of Education and does not require borrowers to pay an application fee.
  2. Through Fund

    A type of target-date retirement fund whose asset allocation includes higher risk and potentially higher return investments "through" the fund's target date and beyond.
  3. Last In, First Out - LIFO

    An asset-management and valuation method that assumes that assets produced or acquired last are the ones that are used, sold or disposed of first.
  4. Variable Universal Life Insurance - VUL

    A form of cash-value life insurance that offers both a death benefit and an investment feature. The premium amount for variable universal life insurance (VUL) is flexible and may be changed by the consumer as needed, though these changes can result in a change in the coverage amount.
  5. Monetary Policy

    The actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and rate of growth of the money supply, which in turn affects interest rates. Monetary policy is maintained through actions such as increasing the interest rate, or changing the amount of money banks need to keep in the vault (bank reserves).
  6. Weak Shorts

    Traders or investors who hold a short position in a stock or other financial asset who will close it out at the first indication of price strength. Weak shorts are typically investors with limited financial capacity, which may preclude them from taking on too much risk on a single short position.
Trading Center