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MARKET EQUILIBRIUM, GRAPHICAL ANALYSIS: An analysis of market equilibrium using a graph that combines a demand curve and a supply curve. A graphical analysis of the market is used to ascertain information such as market equilibrium, equilibrium price, equilibrium quantity, shortage, and surplus. This is one of two basic methods of analyzing market equilibrium. The other is a numerical analysis using demand and supply schedules.

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PERFECT COMPETITION: An ideal market structure characterized by a large number of small firms, identical products sold by all firms, freedom of entry into and exit out of the industry, and perfect knowledge of prices and technology. This is one of four basic market structures. The other three are monopoly, oligopoly, and monopolistic competition. Perfect competition is an idealized market structure that's not observed in the real world. While unrealistic, it does provide an excellent benchmark that can be used to analyze real world market structures. In particular, perfect competition efficiently allocates resources.

     See also | market structure | firm | monopoly | oligopoly | monopolistic competition | perfect competition and demand | perfect competition and efficiency | perfect competition characteristics | perfect competition and short-run supply curve | monopoly and perfect competition |


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INDEX OF CONSUMER SENTIMENT

A measure of consumer attitudes, preferences, and expectations concerning the state of the economy and business-cycle conditions that is compiled each month by the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan. The Index of Consumer Sentiment is one of two primary measures of consumer attitudes. The other is the Consumer Confidence Index developed by The Conference Board.

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