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In economics, a major downswing in the business cycle characterized by sharply reduced industrial production, widespread unemployment, a serious decline or cessation of growth in construction, and great reductions in international trade and capital movements. Unlike recessions, which may be limited to a single country, severe depressions such as the Great Depression encompass many nations. See alsodeflation; inflation.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on depression, visit Britannica.com.