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UNEMPLOYMENT: The general condition in which resources are willing and able to produce goods and services but are not engaged in productive activities. While unemployment is most commonly thought of in terms of labor, any of the other factors of production (capital, land, and entrepreneurship) can be unemployed as well. The analysis of unemployment, especially labor unemployment, goes hand-in-hand with the study of macroeconomics that emerged from the Great Depression of the 1930s.

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DEFLATION: An extended decline in the average level of prices. This is the exact opposite of inflation--in which prices are rising over an extended period, and it should be contrasted with disinflation--which is a decline in the inflation rate. Like inflation, deflation occurs when the AVERAGE price level decreases over time. While some prices might decrease, other prices could increase or remain unchanged, so long as the AVERAGE follows a downward trend. Deflation is a rare bird indeed in our economy and typically happens only when we're in a prolonged period of stagnation. We might see some deflation during a fairly lengthy recession, but more than likely deflation saves itself for the occasional depression that dots our economic landscape.

     See also | inflation | price level | disinflation | recession | depression | Consumer Price Index | GDP price deflator |


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AGGREGATE DEMAND SHIFTS

Changes in the aggregate demand determinants cause the aggregate demand curve to shift. The mechanism is comparable to that for market demand determinants and market demand. There are two alternatives--an increase in aggregate demand and a decrease in aggregate demand. An increase in spending by any of the four sectors--household, business, government, and foreign--shifts the aggregate demand curve to right. A decrease in spending by these four sectors shifts the aggregate demand curve to left.

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