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ANNUITY: The receipt of payments at regular intervals from a established fund. Annuities are commonly used for insurance and retirement programs. It works in this way: A fund, which can be established either through a one-time sum of money or a series of payments, is exhausted over time with fixed, periodic payments. The amount of each payment depends on the interest accrued on the outstanding balance in the fund, and the length of time scheduled to exhaust the fund. For example, if your pension plan is based on an annuity that begins payments at the age of 65, then the size of the payments depends on whether you expect to live 5, 10, 15, or more years and set up payments accordingly. It's very similar to amortization, but in the reverse direction.

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DETERMINANTS: Ceteris paribus factors that are held constant when a curve is constructed. Changes in these factors then cause the curve to shift to a new location. The most common determinants are demand determinants for the demand curve (income, preferences, other prices, buyers' expectations, and number of buyers) and supply determinants for the supply curve (resource prices, technology, other prices, buyers' expectations, and number of buyers). Other common curves and their determinants include: production possibilities curve (technology, education and the quantities of labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship); aggregate demand curve (the four aggregate expenditures of consumption, investment, government purchases, and net exports); and short-run average cost curve (technology, wages, and other production cost).

     See also | ceteris paribus | scientific method | curve | economic analysis | comparative statics | graph | variable | demand determinants | supply determinants | aggregate demand determinants | aggregate supply determinants |


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WHOLESALE PRICE INDEX

An index of the prices paid by retail stores for the products they ultimately resell to consumers. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was the forerunner of the modern Producer Price Index (PPI) and was discontinued in 1978. Other noted price indexes used to track economic activity are the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the GDP price deflator.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time calling an endless list of 800 numbers seeking to buy either a how-to book on fine dining or a coffee cup commemorating the first day of winter. Be on the lookout for pencil sharpeners with an attitude.
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