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December 9, 2022 

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LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATOR: One of eleven economic statistics that tend to move up or down a few months before the expansions and contractions of the business cycle. These leading indicators are -- manufacturers new orders, an index of vendor performance, orders for plant and equipment, Standard & Poor's 500 index of stock prices, new building permits, durable goods manufacturers unfilled orders, the money supply, change in materials prices, average workweek in manufacturing, changes in business and consumer credit, a consumer confidence index, and initial claims for unemployment insurance. Leading indicators indicate what the aggregate economy is likely to do, business-cycle-wise, 3 to 12 months down the road. When leading indicators rise today, then the rest of the economy is likely to rise in the coming year. And when leading indicators decline, then the economy is likely to decline in 3 to 12 months.

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CROWDING OUT: A decline in investment caused by expansionary fiscal policy. When government counteracts a recession with an increase in spending or a reduction in taxes (both resulting in an increase in the federal deficit) interest rates tend to increase. Higher interest rates then inhibit business investment in capital goods. Some pointy-headed economists argue that investment crowding out completely offsets any intended expansionary policy, but the jury's still out on this one. To the extend that crowding out occurs, economic growth is reduced if (and this is an important if) government has not seen fit to offset the loss in business investment with public investment in infrastructure, education, or other growth promoting expenditures.

     See also | investment | government purchases | taxes | fiscal policy | expansionary fiscal policy | recession | federal deficit | economic growth | infrastructure | education |


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IMPLICIT COLLUSION

Seemingly independent, but parallel, actions among competing firms (mostly oligopolistic firms) in an industry designed to control the market, raise the price, and otherwise act like a monopoly. Also termed tacit collusion, the distinguishing feature of implicit collusion is the lack of any explicit agreement. This is one of two types of collusion. The other is explicit or overt collusion, which involves an explicit agreement.

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