Business Cycle

Next video:
Loading the player...

The business cycle refers to the fluctuations in economic activity that an economy experiences over a period of time. It consists of expansions - or periods of economic growth - and contractions, or periods of economic decline. During expansions, employment, production, sales and incomes increase. During contractions - also called recessions - unemployment rises, production slows, sales decrease and incomes stagnate or decline.

Related Articles
  1. Trading Strategies

    5 Lessons From The Recession

    The bear market of 2008 was a game-changer for many investors. Find out what lessons you can take away from it.
  2. Budgeting

    5 Things You Shouldn't Do During A Recession

    These tips can help you avoid financial risk, and are especially important during an economic slowdown.
  3. Fundamental Analysis

    4 Characteristics Of Recession-Proof Companies

    Investors can find profitable companies - even in a recession. It's all about knowing where to look.
  4. Professionals

    Getting An Investment Bank Job During A Recession

    Even in a recession, investment banks are seeking new talent. Learn what will set you apart from the crowd!
  5. Options & Futures

    Profiting In A Post-Recession Economy

    When the dust from a recession settles, there are often many opportunities for portfolio growth - both locally and internationally.
  6. Options & Futures

    Rules For Post-Recession Investing

    Market volatility causes investors to lose confidence, yet history shows that market exposure is the path to returns.
  7. Options & Futures

    Get Hired In Finance, Despite The Recession

    During a recession, there are still plenty of options for a business school graduate.
  8. Investing Basics

    What Does In Specie Mean?

    In specie describes the distribution of an asset in its physical form instead of cash.
  9. Economics

    What's the 1913 Federal Reserve Act?

    The 1913 Federal Reserve Act was a pivotal congressional act that helped establish the Federal Reserve System as it exists today. It is one of the United States financial system’s most influential ...
  10. Investing News

    Could a Rate Hike Send Stocks Higher?

    A rate hike would certainly alter the investment scene, but would it be for the better or worse?

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  2. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  3. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  4. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!