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Brief description: The trade cycle is the fluctuations in the rate of economic growth that take place in the economy.

Detailed description: These fluctuations appear to occur around every five years and have probably occurred ever since economies have occurred! It is the aim of all governments to try to dampen the effects of the trade cycle and get more balanced long-term growth, but so far they have had limited success. The peak of the trade cycle is usually referred to as a boom, and the trough as a recession or depression.