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June 23, 2018 

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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.

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DOMESTIC SECTOR: The combination of the households, businesses, and governments of a particular nation that undertake consumption and production activity within the political boundaries of that nation. The key point of contrast with the domestic sector is the foreign sector, activity beyond the political boundaries of a nation.

     See also | foreign sector | foreign trade | international trade | international finance | closed economy | open economy | law of comparative advantage | exports | imports | net exports |


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FIAT MONEY

A medium of exchange (money) with value in exchange, but little or no value in use. Modern paper currency, coins, and checkable deposits are fiat money. The value of fiat money comes from the public's general willingness to accept it in exchange for other goods. This willingness comes from the fact that EVERYONE is willing to accept fiat money in exchange, which largely depends on the public's confidence in the authority (usually government) issuing the fiat money. Fiat money is NOT valuable unto itself, but it is valuable for what it can buy. In the march toward economic complexity, fiat money emerged from commodity money, money with both value in exchange and value in use.

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