Business Dictionary

    The Small Business Dictionary defines, explains, and cross-references more than 1,800 key small business words, phrases, acronyms, and concepts, covering topics including small business finance, management, sales, startup, exit strategy, and growth. To use the dictionary, type a word in the search box or click a letter to browse the listings alphabetically.


    An extended period, typically of at least six months and measured in months, during which economic activity is declining significantly and broadly in terms of GDP, income, production, and employment, measuredfrom the peak of activity until the trough of activity when recovery begins, although employment tends to lag somewhat in the recovery and unemployment may remain elevated well into the recovery. The National Bureau of Economic Research's Business Cycle Dating Committee is in charge of dating U.S. recessions. The official NBER definition of recession is: "A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. A recession begins just after the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends as the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion. Expansion is the normal state of the economy; most recessions are brief and they have been rare in recent decades. The start and end dates are determined by the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). It is a popular misconception that a recession is indicated simply by two consecutive quarters of declining GDP, which is true for most, but not all recession. NBER uses monthly data to date the start and ending months of recessions."

    Glossary provided by Campbell R. Harvey, Professor of Finance at Duke University.
    Copyright © 2006, Campbell R. Harvey. All worldwide rights reserved. Do not reproduce without explicit permission.
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