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Economists have long theorized about the role consumer expectations play in creating the economic future. During the Great Depression, John Maynard Keynes attributed the business cycle to alternating waves of optimism and pessimism, which he termed "Animal spirits." Keynes believed that these waves cause the boom-and-bust cycle experienced by market economies. In the twenty-first century, the science and art of prognostication is especially relevant to marketers. Information about the economic future is invaluable in helping them position their offerings so as to maximize sales and profits.
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