Pump Priming

Dictionary Says

Definition of 'Pump Priming'


The action taken to stimulate an economy, usually during a recessionary period, through government spending, and interest rate and tax reductions. The term "pump priming" is derived from the operation of older pumps; a suction valve had to be primed with water so that the pump would function properly. As with these pumps, pump priming assumes that the economy must be primed to function properly once again. In this regard, government spending is assumed to stimulate private spending, which in turn should lead to economic expansion.

Investopedia Says

Investopedia explains 'Pump Priming'


The phrase originated with President Hoover's creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1932, which was designed to make loans to banks and industry. This was taken one step further by 1933, when President Roosevelt felt that pump-priming would be the only way for the economy to recover from the Great Depression. Through the RFC and other public works organizations, billions of dollars were spent "priming the pump" to encourage economic growth.

The phrase was rarely used in economic policy discussions after World War II, even though programs developed and used since then, such as unemployment insurance and tax cuts, are automatic pump primers of sorts. However, during the financial crisis of 2007/2008 the term came back into use, as interest rate lowering and infrastructure spending was thought to be the best path to economic recovery.

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Private Equity

    Equity capital that is not quoted on a public exchange. Private equity consists of investors and funds that make investments directly into private companies or conduct buyouts of public companies that result in a delisting of public equity.
  2. Valuation

    The process of determining the current worth of an asset or company. There are many techniques that can be used to determine value, some are subjective and others are objective.
  3. Valuation

    The process of determining the current worth of an asset or company. There are many techniques that can be used to determine value, some are subjective and others are objective.
  4. Tech Street

    A term used in the financial markets and the press to refer to the technology sector. Companies like Intel, Microsoft, Apple and Dell are all considered to be part of Tech Street.
  5. Tech Street

    A term used in the financial markets and the press to refer to the technology sector. Companies like Intel, Microsoft, Apple and Dell are all considered to be part of Tech Street.
  6. Momentum Investing

    An investment strategy that aims to capitalize on the continuance of existing trends in the market. The momentum investor believes that large increases in the price of a security will be followed by additional gains and vice versa for declining values.
Trading Center