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LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATOR: One of eleven economic statistics that tend to move up or down a few months before the expansions and contractions of the business cycle. These leading indicators are -- manufacturers new orders, an index of vendor performance, orders for plant and equipment, Standard & Poor's 500 index of stock prices, new building permits, durable goods manufacturers unfilled orders, the money supply, change in materials prices, average workweek in manufacturing, changes in business and consumer credit, a consumer confidence index, and initial claims for unemployment insurance. Leading indicators indicate what the aggregate economy is likely to do, business-cycle-wise, 3 to 12 months down the road. When leading indicators rise today, then the rest of the economy is likely to rise in the coming year. And when leading indicators decline, then the economy is likely to decline in 3 to 12 months.

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MONETARY POLICY: The Federal Reserve System's use of the money supply to stabilize the business cycle. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve System determines the total amount of money circulating around the economy. In principle, the Fed can use three different "tools"--open market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements--to manipulate the money supply. In practice, however, the primary tool employed is open market operations. To counter a recession, the Fed would undertake expansionary policy, also termed easy money. To reduce inflation, contractionary policy is the order of the day, and goes by the name tight money.

     See also | Federal Reserve System | money | business cycle | stabilization policies | central bank | open market operations | discount rate | reserve requirements | Federal Open Market Committee | tight money | easy money | fiscal policy | interest rate | inflation | unemployment | expansionary monetary policy | contractionary monetary policy |


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MARSHALLIAN CROSS

A diagram illustrating the market model, with price measured on the vertical axis and quantity measured on the horizontal axis, with the law of demand represented as a downward-sloping demand curve and the law of supply represented as an upward-sloping supply curve. The derivation of this name comes from the "Marshall" part of noted economist Alfred Marshall, and the intersection or "cross" of the demand and supply curves achieved at that market equilibrium.

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In the late 1800s and early 1900s, almost 2 million children were employed as factory workers.
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