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The economy of a nation or region refers to the sum of all legitimate activities connected to the production and distribution of goods and services, or economic activity, within its geographic boundaries. This definition can also be interpreted to include the effects of human behavior and human decision making with regard to these goods and services.[1]

Economy, or economies, can refer to one of two meanings:

  • the economic activity of a certain region (i.e. the economy of Chicago); or
  • savings and cost reduction.[2]

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) determines turning points in the state of the economy, publishing start and end dates for recessions and recoveries.[3]


  1. Retrospectives: On the Definition of Economics. Journal of Economic Perspectives.
  2. Economy, economies. Washington University.
  3. Information on Recessions and Recoveries, the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee, and related topics. NBER.