The economic environment is an amalgamation of various economic factors, such as total employment, productivity, income, wealth, inflation and interest rates. These factors influence the spending patterns of individuals and firms.
Components of the Economic Environment
The economic environment comprises of:
Income and wealth: Income in an economy is measured by GDP, GNP and per capita income. High values of these factors show a progressive economic environment.
Employment levels: High employment represents a positive picture of the economy. However, there are many forms of unemployment, including partial employment and disguised unemployment.
Productivity: This is the output generated from a given amount of inputs. High levels of productivity support the economic environment.
Classifications of the Economic Environment
The economic environment can be classified into:
- Microeconomic environment: It includes the economic environment of a particular industry, firm or household and is primarily concerned with price determination of individual factors. The main consideration from a microeconomic perspective is the efficient allocation of resources. This is necessary to maximize total output.
- Macroeconomic environment: It includes all the economic factors in totality. The main consideration here is the determination of the levels of income and employment in the economy.
Over the course of the twentieth century, the focus has shifted from cities and countries to the global economy being the chief economic unit.
Factors Affecting the Economic Environment
The economic environment of a nation as well as the world is impacted by: