DEFINITION of 'Tortoise Economy'

An economy that is growing slowly or not at all over time. The classic example of a tortoise economy is the Japanese economy during the Lost Decade in the 1990s. During that time, interest rates remained near 0% while economic expansion was non-existent.

BREAKING DOWN 'Tortoise Economy'

The phrase "tortoise economy" was first popularized by Robert Reich in his description of the U.S. economy during the financial crisis that began in 2007-08. In the years following the recession, U.S. growth remained slow, and interest rates were very low.

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