National bureau of economic research business cycle dating committee validating form fields with javascript

Economists note, however, that complete business cycles vary in length.The duration of business cycles can be anywhere from about two to twelve years, with most cycles averaging six years in length.Economic growth is in essence a period of sustained expansion.Hallmarks of this part of the business cycle include increased consumer confidence, which translates into higher levels of business activity.Declines are characterized by decreased levels of consumer purchases (especially of durable goods) and, subsequently, reduced production by businesses.For centuries, economists in both the United States and Europe regarded economic downturns as "diseases" that had to be treated; it followed, then, that economies characterized by growth and affluence were regarded as "healthy" economies.Some business analysts use the business cycle model and terminology to study and explain fluctuations in business inventory and other individual elements of corporate operations.

A business cycle is typically characterized by four phases—recession, recovery, growth, and decline—that repeat themselves over time.As a result, changes in sales result in magnified percentage changes in investment expenditures.This accelerates the pace of economic expansion, which generates greater income in the economy, leading to further increases in sales.A particularly severe recession is known as a depression.Also known as an upturn, the recovery stage of the business cycle is the point at which the economy "troughs" out and starts working its way up to better financial footing.

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