Recessionary Gap

Definition of 'Recessionary Gap'


A term routed in macroeconomic theory that summarizes the situation where an economy is operating at below its full-employment equilibrium. Under this condition, the level of real gross domestic product (GDP) is currently lower then it is at full-employment, which puts downward pressure on prices in the long run.

Investopedia explains 'Recessionary Gap'


A recessionary gap happens when an economy is falling into a recession, which is defined as a lower real level of income (as measured by real GDP) then the full-employment level. An economic recession can happen in a number of ways, including a higher nominal exchange rate, which will reduce net exports and domestic income, and a large reduction in consumer expenditure or investment due to a decrease in take home pay by workers.


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