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WHOLESALE PRICE INDEX: An index of the prices paid by retail stores for the products they would ultimately resell to consumers. The Wholesale Price Index, abbreviated WPI, was the forerunner of the modern Producer Price Index (PPI). The WPI was first published in 1902, and was one of the more important economic indicators available to policy makers until it was replaced by the PPI in 1978. The change to Producer Price Index in 1978 reflected, as much as a name change, a change in focus of this index away from the limited wholesaler-to-retailer transaction to encompass all stages of production. While the WPI is no longer available, the family of producer price indexes provides a close counterpart in the Finished Goods Price Index.

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BUDGET DEFICIT: An excess of budgetary expenditures over revenues. The federal government is well known for its inclination to operate with a budget deficit. But it is not alone. Consumers also find themselves in this position on many occasions. When a budget deficit occurs, the excess spending is financed through borrowing. For the federal government this involves issuing government securities. For households it typically involves some sort of bank loan, credit card purchase, use of savings (borrowing from thyself), or hitting a friend up for a few bucks.

     See also | budget | government | consumer | government securities | balanced budget | budget surplus | federal deficit |


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VARIABLES

Quantities, usually represented as symbols, that can take on one of a set of values. A variable is "variable" because its value can "vary." A primary goal of economic analysis is to determine the specific value that a variable takes on under specific circumstances.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling around a discount warehouse buying club trying to buy either pink cotton balls or a genuine down-filled comforter. Be on the lookout for small children selling products door-to-door.
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Three-forths of the gold mined each year is used to manufacture jewelry.
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