Definition: Business cycle

OECD - Business tendency surveys

There are several ways to measure “the business cycle”. In general, it is defined as fluctuations in the level of economic activity around an estimate of its underlying trend. Starting from a position where the level of activity is close to the trend level, a business cycle is said to be complete when the level of activity has returned back to the trend following a period when it was above, then below, the trend level, or vice-versa.
Source:
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), "Business Tendency Surveys - A Handbook", OECD, Paris, 2003
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