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REGULATION: Government rules or laws that control the activities of businesses and consumers. The motivation for regulation is that businesses are inclined to do things that are harmful to the public--actions which need to be prevented or otherwise controlled. Regulation is essentially an extension of government's authority to protect one member of society from another. It tends to take one of two forms--(1) industry regulation that's intended to prevent firms from gaining and abusing excessive market control and (2) social regulation that seeks to protect consumers for problems caused by pollution, unsafe products, and the lack of information (market failure).

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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.

     See also | production | business sector | economy | employment | unemployment | unemployment rate | full employment | expansion | contraction | factory |


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M1

The narrow-range monetary aggregate for the U.S. economy containing the combination of currency (and coins) issued by government and held by the nonbank public and checkable deposits issued by banking institutions. M1 contains the two items that function as THE medium of exchange for the U.S. economy. M1 is one of three monetary aggregates tracked and reported by the Federal Reserve System. The other two are designated M2 and M3.

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