March 23, 2018 

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FISCAL POLICY: Use of the federal government's powers of spending and taxation to stabilize the business cycle. If the economy is mired in a recession, then the appropriate fiscal policy is to increase spending or reduce taxes--termed expansionary policy. During periods of high inflation, the opposite actions are needed--contractionary policy. The consequences of fiscal policy are typically observed in terms of the federal deficit.

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OPPORTUNITY COST, PRODUCTION POSSIBILITIES: The production possibilities analysis, which is the alternative combinations of two goods that an economy can produce with given resources and technology, can be used to illustrate opportunity cost--the highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity.

     See also | production possibilities | production possibilities schedule | law of increasing opportunity cost | opportunity cost, production possibilities | full employment, production possibilities | unemployment, production possibilities | investment, production possibilities | derivation, production possibilities curve | assumptions, production possibilities |

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The calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) containing the 19th day of the month that is used to conduct the Current Population Survey (CPS). This is the time period in which CPS interviews contact occupants of 60,000 households included in the survey. The survey questions posed by the interviewers then refer to the employment activities of the respondents during the previous calendar week, which is the termed the reference week. The activities of survey respondents during the reference week are the source of information used to estimate the unemployment rate and other employment information generated by the CPS.

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