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June 19, 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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HEDGE FUND: A mutual fund that relies heavily on hedging practices to protect the value of the financial assets. Such a fund specializes in options, futures, and other financial instruments that provide insurance protection against price fluctuations, and thus limits the risk of loss.

     See also | mutual fund | hedging | hedge | speculation | futures | option | risk | uncertainty | insurance |


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FIXED EXCHANGE RATE

An exchange rate that is established at a specific level and maintained through government actions (usually through monetary policy actions of a central bank). To fix an exchange rate, a government must be willing to buy and sell currency in the foreign exchange market in whatever amounts are necessary to keep the exchange rate fixed. A fixed exchange rate typically disrupts the balance of trade and balance of payments for a country. But in many cases, this is exactly what a country is seeking to do. This is one of three basic exchange rate policies used by domestic governments. The other two policies are flexible exchange rate and managed flexible exchange rate.

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