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The following figure depicts the four stages of a business cycle.
During expansion, most sectors of the economy (e.g. employment, consumption, and investment) are growing, and if an expansion is close to its peak, these indicators are beginning to decline, and the inflation rate is increasing. In the case of recession, the situation is inverse i.e. a decline in most sectors of the economy, and the inflation rate is decreasing. If the recession reaches a trough, the economy is recovering; the indicators are beginning to increase again, and the inflation rate becomes moderate.
Besides the indicators mentioned above i.e. employment, consumption, and investment, the National Bureau of Economic Research looks also to other indicators such as industrial production, and personal income.
The last recession begun in December 2007 and lasted until June 2009, and the most recent data available on the National Bureau of Economic Research states that last expansion begun in June 2009. The last recession was one of the longest and was caused by factors such as housing market which affected also the rest of the economy, and caused incomes to fall and unemployment to increase. Previously two longest recession had as main cause the oil-shocks, and the internet bubble respectively.
Analysis of business cycles is very important in what concerns the economy because it is primarily an indicator, as well as a predictor of the evolution of the economic activity. Recent years have been proved to be challenging even for the most important economies of the world, and the recession which followed is a reason for the necessity of analyzing business cycles. Although, there are different theories around this topic, the correlation between the stage of the cycle and indicators such as employment, consumption, and investment remains crucial to be
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