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DECISION LAG: The time lag that it takes government leaders and policy makers to determine the appropriate government action needed to address an economic problem. The decision lag arises because it takes time for policy makers to chose among the array of possible policy actions, each with assorted consequences that appeal differently to different political constituencies. This "inside lag" is one of four policy lags associated with monetary and fiscal policy. The other two "inside lags" are recognition lag and implementation lag, and one "outside lag" is implementation lag. All four policy lags can reduce the effectiveness of business-cycle stabilization policies and can even destabilize the economy.

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INDEX: A measure of the relative average of a group of items compared to a given base value. Index measures are commonly used in economics to combine and compare diverse measures. One common type of index measure is for prices, such as the Consumer Price Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average of corporate stock prices. Another noted type of index measure is to track macroeconomic activity, especially the index leading economic indicators. Indexes are usually weighted averages rather than simple arithmetic means that are measured relative to a base value or period. The Consumer Price Index, for example, measures the prices of consumer good, weighted by the quantities purchased. The value of a given period is then stated relative to a base year value, which generates a pure, "unitless" number in the range of 100 (give or take).

     See also | Consumer Price Index | Dow Jones averages | Standard & Poor's 500 | NASDAQ | GDP price deflator | leading economic indicator | lagging economic indicator | coincident economic indicator |


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INTEREST RATES, AGGREGATE EXPENDITURES DETERMINANT

One of several specific aggregate expenditures determinants assumed constant when the aggregate expenditures line is constructed, and that shifts the aggregate expenditures line when it changes. A decrease in interest rates cause an increase (upward shift) of the aggregate expenditures line. An increase in interest rates cause a decrease (downward shift) of the aggregate expenditures line. Other notable aggregate expenditures determinants include consumer confidence, federal deficit, inflationary expectations, and exchange rates.

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