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business cycle definition

What is the definition of "business cycle"? 
Business cycle (also, economic cycle) is a term that describes the variations in economic activity, both up and down. The four phases of a business cycle are: trough, expansion, peak and contraction, and each will vary in length and intensity.

From a broad perspective, an economic cycle would be the time (often measured in years) during which the economy of a country recovers from a downturn, such as a recession, and achieves sustained growth, such as what is called an expansion.

Cycles within individual industries and markets may also be observed and measured.

Just as all things in the physical world that go up must inevitably come down, economies and their participants will always experience economic cycles. 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of Instant Profits: Making Your Business Pay
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