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YIELD CURVE: A curve plotting the yields (or returns) on securities with different maturity lengths. The standard yield is for U.S. Treasury securities with lengths ranging from 90 days to 30 years. The five maturity lengths are usually 90 day, 180 day, 2 year, 5 year, 10 year, and 30 year. The shape and slope fo the yield curve indicates the state of the economy and what's likely to come. A normal yield curve has a slight positive slope, with slightly higher yields for longer maturity securities. A steep yield curve suggests the end of a contraction and beginning of an expansion. An inverted, or negatively sloped yield curve is the sign of an upcoming contraction.

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DISINFLATION: A decline in the inflation rate. With disinflation, prices are still rising, they're just not rising as fast. Numerically speaking, if the inflation rate was 10% last year, 6% this year, and looks to be 4% next year, then we have disinflation. Disinflation, a reduction in the inflation rate, is not the same as deflation, a decline in the price level. Prices continue to rise with disinflation, just not as fast. Should disinflation continue, presumably because anti-inflationary monetary or fiscal policies are working effectively, then the average price level could decline and we make the transition to deflation.

     See also | inflation | inflation rate | deflation | price level | stabilization policies |


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RISK AVERSION

A preference for risk in which a person prefers guaranteed or certain income over risky income. Risk aversion arises due to decreasing marginal utility of income. A risk averse person prefers to avoid risk and is willing to pay to do so, often through the purchase of insurance. This is one of three risk preferences. The other two are risk neutrality and risk loving.

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