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COMMODITY EXCHANGE: A financial market that trades the ownership of various commodities, such as wheat, corn, cotton, sugar, crude oil, natural gas, gold, silver, and aluminum. The two biggest commodity exchanges in good old U. S. of A. are the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Unlike, let's say a grocery store where commodities physically trade hands, commodity exchanges trade only legal ownership. This is much like a stock market, which trades the ownership of a corporation, but leaves the factory at home. Commodity markets offer two basic sorts of trading -- spot (immediate delivery of a commodity) and futures (delivery of a commodity at a future date).

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DEFLATION: An extended decline in the average level of prices. This is the exact opposite of inflation--in which prices are rising over an extended period, and it should be contrasted with disinflation--which is a decline in the inflation rate. Like inflation, deflation occurs when the AVERAGE price level decreases over time. While some prices might decrease, other prices could increase or remain unchanged, so long as the AVERAGE follows a downward trend. Deflation is a rare bird indeed in our economy and typically happens only when we're in a prolonged period of stagnation. We might see some deflation during a fairly lengthy recession, but more than likely deflation saves itself for the occasional depression that dots our economic landscape.

     See also | inflation | price level | disinflation | recession | depression | Consumer Price Index | GDP price deflator |


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TOTAL VARIABLE COST AND MARGINAL COST

A mathematical connection between marginal cost and total variable cost stating that marginal cost IS the slope of the total variable cost curve. This relation between total variable cost and marginal cost is also seen with total cost. The slope of the total cost curve is marginal cost, as well. The relation between total variable cost and marginal cost is but another in the long line of applications of the total-marginal relation.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time driving to a factory outlet seeking to buy either decorative picture frames or storage boxes for your income tax returns. Be on the lookout for telephone calls from long-lost relatives.
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In the early 1900s around 300 automobile companies operated in the United States.
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