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A deficiency, misappropriation, or defalcation; a minus balance; something wanting.

Deficit is commonly used to mean any kind of shortage, as in an account, a number, or a balance due. Deficit spending or financing involves taking in less money than the amount that is paid out.


Federal Budget.


n. a shortage, less than is due, or in the case of a business or government budget, more expenditures than income. Unbalanced budgets with a planned year-end deficit are prohibited at every level of government except the federal.


noun absence, arrears, balance to pay, dearth, default, deficiency, financial shortage, inadequacy, insufficiency, lack, loss, meagerness, omission, overdraft, paucity, scantiness, scarcity, shortage, shortness
See also: arrears, debt, decrement, deficiency, delinquency, due, insufficiency, need, poverty

DEFICIT. This Latin term signifies that something is wanting. It is used to express the deficiency which is discovered in the accounts of an accountant, or in the money in which he has received.

References in periodicals archive ?
effectively limiting cyclical deficits to 3 percent of GDP.
Since the cyclical deficit rises during economic contractions and falls during expansions, it can be considered a broad indicator of macroeconomic conditions.
Brad De Long, for example, is certainly right to bemoan excessive postwar experimentation with discressionary spending while hailing the performance of automatic stabilizers, and to regret the fact that voters proved unable to distinguish between beneficial cyclical deficits and harmful structural deficits.
Cyclical deficits are typically caused by temporary economic downturns, whereas structural deficits are caused by long-term gaps between projected revenue growth and the estimated cost of government-funded services.
In that sense, deficit spending and, in particular, cyclical deficits [Url, 1997] should have a significant impact on the performance of the Austrian economy [Tichy, 1994].
Until output returns to its trend level, there is a risk that the borrowing caused by automatic stabilisers may (through increased financing costs) turn cyclical deficits into structural deficits, especially when current output is low relative to previous trends and there is doubt about future trends in output growth and the speed of the recovery.