A cycle of economic activity typically characterized by recession, recovery, growth, and decline.
The regular alternation of periods of expansion and contraction that occur in an industry or economy.
A long-term pattern of improvements and downturns in the economy. A business cycle typically has four stages: expansion, prosperity, contraction, and recession. Eventually a recession will be followed by expansion. A business cycle typically is tracked by looking at gross domestic product data. Employment levels, retail sales, and industrial productivity are some of the other economic indicators that show whether a business cycle is shifting from one stage to another. Business cycles may also be used in reference to an industry or company.