Business cycle
The term business cycle (or economic cycle) refers to economy-wide fluctuations in production or economic activity over several months or years. These fluctuations occur around a long-term growth trend, and typically involve shifts over time between periods of relatively rapid economic growth (an expansion
Economic expansion
An economic expansion is an increase in the level of economic activity, and of the goods and services available in the market place. It is a period of economic growth as measured by a rise in real GDP.The explanation of such fluctuations in aggregate economic activity is one of the primary...

 or boom), and periods of relative stagnation or decline (a contraction or recession
In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity. During recessions, many macroeconomic indicators vary in a similar way...


Business cycles are usually measured by considering the growth rate of real gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....