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DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION: A transition experienced by most, if not all, developed countries in which the birth rate and death rate both decline from relatively high levels to relatively low levels. However, because the death rate tends to decline first, often preceding the decline in the birth rate be several decades, the rate of population growth increases. In some cases the rate of population growth can be so high that it circumvents further develop and prevents or postpones the completion of the demographic transition.

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BALANCE OF TRADE: The difference between funds received by a country when exporting merchandise and the funds paid for importing merchandise. The balance of trade is a major part of the current accounts portion of the balance of payments. A balance of trade surplus results if exports exceed imports, commonly termed a favorable balance of trade, and a balance of trade deficit exists if imports exceed exports, analogously termed an unfavorable balance of trade. The "favorable" and "unfavorable" normative connotations attached to the balance of trade rests with the presumption that a nation is "better off" when it exports more than it imports, which is not necessarily true.

     See also | foreign trade | export | import | current account | balance of payments | balance of trade surplus | balance of trade deficit | favorable balance of trade | unfavorable balance of trade | normative economics |


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EXCESS RESERVES

The reserves (vault cash and Federal Reserve deposits) that banks have over and above what they are required by government to keep to back up deposits. The primary use of excess reserves, also termed free reserves, is for loans to consumers and businesses. Because reserves do not generate interest, revenue, or profit, banks are inclined to keep as few excess reserves as possible.

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