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RECOVERY: A early expansionary phase of the business cycle shortly after a contraction has ended, but before a full-blown expansion begins. During a recovery, the unemployment rate remains relatively high, but it is beginning to fall. Real gross domestic product has begun to increase, usually rapidly. However, because the contraction remains fresh in the minds of many, it may not be immediately clear that the trough of the contraction has been reached.

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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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CHANGE IN PRIVATE INVENTORIES

The increase or decrease in the stocks of final goods, intermediate goods, raw materials, and other inputs that businesses keep on hand to use in production. Formerly termed change in business inventories, this is one of two main categories of gross private domestic investment included in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The other category is fixed investment. Change in private inventories tend to be about 3 to 5 percent of gross private domestic investment.

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