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March 1, 2024 

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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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HDI: An abbreviation of the Human Development Index, whichn is a summary composite index that measures a country's average achievements in three basic aspects of human development: longevity, knowledge, and a decent standard of living. Longevity is measured by life expectancy at birth; knowledge is measured by a combination of the adult literacy rate and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary gross enrollment ratio; and standard of living is measured by GDP per capita. The Human Development Index (HDI), reported in the Human Development Report of the United Nations, is an indication of where a country is development wise. The index can take value between 0 and 1. Countries with an index over 0.800 are part of the High Human Development group. Between 0.500 and 0.800, countries are part of the Medium Human Development group and below 0.500 they are part of the Low Human Development group.

     See also | Gini index | income distribution | wealth distribution | equity |


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ELASTICITY ALTERNATIVES, DEMAND

Five categories of the price elasticity of demand that reflect the entire range of the relative responsiveness of a change in quantity demanded to a change in price. These five alternatives--perfectly elastic, relatively elastic, unit elastic, relatively inelastic, and perfectly inelastic--are often illustrated by different demand curves. The price elasticity of supply is also reflected by five comparable alternatives.

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