DEFINITION of 'Sine Wave'

An geometric waveform that oscillates (moves up, down or side-to-side) periodically, and is defined by the function y = sin x. In other words, it is an s-shaped, smooth wave that oscillates above and below zero.

BREAKING DOWN 'Sine Wave'

The Composite Index of Lagging Indicators, one of three Business Cycle Indicators published by the Conference Board is known to resemble a sine wave since the measures that make up the index (i.e. ratios and interest rates) tend to oscillate between a range of values. For example, inflation is always kept between specified rates and if/once inflation meets or exceeds a specified limit, interest rates will be adjusted to either increase or decrease inflation so it is brought within a target range. Thus, as the rate of inflation increases, decreases or stays the same, interest rates will oscillate up and down to control an undesired rate of inflation.

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