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CAPITAL: One of the four basic categories of resources, or factors of production. It includes the manufactured (or previously produced) resources used to manufacture or produce other things. Common examples of capital are the factories, buildings, trucks, tools, machinery, and equipment used by businesses in their productive pursuits. Capital's primary role in the economy is to improve the productivity of labor as it transforms the natural resources of land into wants-and-needs-satisfying goods.

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CAPACITY UTILIZATION RATE: The ratio of actual production by business sector factories and other productive establishments in the economy to the potential production of these establishments. This rate indicates if our economy's factories are being used as effectively and as fully as possible. Like the unemployment rate, the capacity utilization rate measures how close our economy is to full employment. And like unemployment, this rate moves up and down over the course of a business cycle. During expansions, the rate is near 85 percent (considered full employment), and during contractions, it tends to be in the 70 percent range. In addition to an overall rate, there are also separate rates for manufacturing, mining, and utility industries.

     See also | production | business sector | economy | employment | unemployment | unemployment rate | full employment | expansion | contraction | factory |


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FOUR-SECTOR, THREE-MARKET CIRCULAR FLOW

A circular flow model of the macroeconomy containing four sectors (business, household, government, and foreign) and three markets (product, factor, and financial) that illustrates the continuous movement of the payments for goods and services between producers and consumers, with particular emphasis on exports and imports. Other circular models are two-sector, two-market circular flow; two-sector, three-market circular flow; and three-sector, three-market circular flow.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites hoping to buy either a T-shirt commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki or a wall poster commemorating the 2000 Olympics. Be on the lookout for a thesaurus filled with typos.
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