The Real Economic Business Cycle?


By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


The business cycle is also known as the economic cycle and reflects the expansion or contraction in economic activity. Understanding the business cycle and the indicators used to determine its phases may influence investment or economic business decisions and financial or medical planning expectations. 

Although often depicted as the regular rising and falling of an episodic curve, the business cycle is very irregular in terms of amplitude and duration. Moreover, many elements move together during the cycle and individual elements seldom carry enough momentum to cause the cycle to move.  

However, elements may have a domino effect on one another, and this is ultimately drives the cycle, too.  We can also have a large positive cycle, coincident with a smaller but still negative cycle, as may be seen in the current healthcare climate of today. 

  1. First Phase: Trough to Recovery (service and production driven)

Scenario: A depressed GNP leads to declining industrial production and capacity utilization. Decreased workloads result in improved labor productivity and reduced labor (unit) costs until actual producer (wholesale) prices decline. 

  1. Second Phase: Recovery to Expansion (patient and consumer driven)

Scenario: CPI declines (due to reduced wholesale prices) and consumer real income rises, improving consumer sentiment and actual demand for consumer goods. 

  1. Third Phase: Expansion to Peak (service and production driven)

Scenario: GNP raises leading to increased industrial production and capacity utilization. But, labor productivity declines and unit labor costs and producer (wholesale) prices rise. 

  1. Fourth Phase: Peak to Contraction (patient and consumer driven)

Scenario: CPI rises making consumer real income and sentiment erode until consumer demand, and ultimately purchases, shrink dramatically.  Recessions may occur and economists have an alphabet used to describe them.  

For example, with a “V” graph shape, the drop and recovery is quick. For a “U” shaped graph, the economy moves up more sluggishly from the bottom. A “W” is what you would expect: repeated recoveries and declines. An “L” shaped recession describes a prolonged dry economic spell or even depression.

And now, the REAL Cycle?




Thank You



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