Reading 17 Understanding Business Cycles (Intro)
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Agricultural societies experience good harvest times and bad ones. Weather is a main factor that influences crop production, but other factors, such as plant and animal diseases, also influence the harvest. Modern diversified economies are less influenced by weather and diseases but, as with crops, there are fluctuations in economic output, with good times and bad times.
This reading addresses changes in economic activity and factors that affect it. Some of the factors that influence short-term economic movements—such as changes in population, technology, and capital—are the same as those that affect long-term sustainable economic growth. Other factors, such as money supply and inflation, are more specific to short-term economic fluctuations.