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In economics, stimulus
refers to attempts to use monetary
Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money, often targeting a rate of interest for the purpose of promoting economic growth and stability. The official goals usually include relatively stable prices and low unemployment...
or fiscal policy
In economics and political science, fiscal policy is the use of government expenditure and revenue collection to influence the economy....
(or stabilization policy in general) to stimulate the economy. Recently "stimulus" has become particularly associated with Keynesian economics
Keynesian economics is a school of macroeconomic thought based on the ideas of 20th-century English economist John Maynard Keynes.Keynesian economics argues that private sector decisions sometimes lead to inefficient macroeconomic outcomes and, therefore, advocates active policy responses by the...
and the theory that government spending projects can generate economic growth in a recession
In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity. During recessions, many macroeconomic indicators vary in a similar way...
. Stimulus can also refer to monetary policies like lowering interest rates and quantitative easing
Quantitative easing is an unconventional monetary policy used by central banks to stimulate the national economy when conventional monetary policy has become ineffective. A central bank buys financial assets to inject a pre-determined quantity of money into the economy...