Internal balance

Internal balance refers to a state in which an economy achieves full employment and price stability, without excessive inflation or unemployment.
Updated: Jun 11, 2024

3 key takeaways

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  • Internal balance is achieved when an economy operates at full employment and maintains stable prices, balancing economic growth and inflation.
  • Policymakers use various fiscal and monetary tools to manage aggregate demand and supply, striving to achieve and maintain internal balance.
  • Maintaining internal balance is crucial for sustainable economic growth, as it fosters a stable economic environment conducive to investment and consumption.

What is internal balance?

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Internal balance is a condition in which an economy reaches full employment and stable prices, meaning that all available resources are used efficiently, and there is neither excessive inflation nor significant unemployment. It represents an optimal state of economic equilibrium where aggregate demand matches aggregate supply.

Importance of internal balance

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  • Economic Stability: Achieving internal balance ensures that the economy grows steadily without significant fluctuations in inflation or unemployment.
  • Sustainable Growth: A balanced economy supports long-term economic growth by creating a stable environment for businesses and consumers.
  • Social Well-being: Full employment and stable prices contribute to social stability and well-being, reducing the economic distress caused by unemployment and high inflation.

How internal balance is achieved

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Policymakers use a combination of fiscal and monetary policies to achieve and maintain internal balance:

  • Fiscal Policy: Government adjusts its spending and taxation to influence aggregate demand. For example, increasing public spending or cutting taxes can boost demand and reduce unemployment, while reducing spending or increasing taxes can help control inflation.
  • Monetary Policy: Central banks manage interest rates and money supply to influence economic activity. Lowering interest rates can stimulate investment and consumption, helping to reduce unemployment, while raising rates can help control inflation.

Example of fiscal policy for internal balance

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A government might increase infrastructure spending during a recession to create jobs and boost economic activity. This increase in demand can help move the economy toward full employment, contributing to internal balance.

Factors affecting internal balance

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Several factors can influence the ability of an economy to achieve and maintain internal balance:

  • Aggregate Demand: The total demand for goods and services in the economy, influenced by consumer spending, investment, government spending, and net exports.
  • Aggregate Supply: The total output of goods and services that firms in the economy are willing and able to produce at different price levels.
  • Inflation Expectations: If people expect higher future inflation, they may spend more now, increasing demand and potentially leading to actual inflation.
  • Labor Market Dynamics: Employment levels, wage rates, and productivity all impact the balance between aggregate demand and supply.

Example of achieving internal balance

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Consider an economy experiencing high unemployment and low inflation. The central bank might lower interest rates to encourage borrowing and spending, while the government increases public investment in infrastructure projects. These measures boost aggregate demand, reducing unemployment and moving the economy toward full employment and stable prices.

Example Calculation

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If the natural rate of unemployment (the level consistent with full employment) is 5% and the actual unemployment rate is 8%, policies aimed at increasing aggregate demand can help reduce the unemployment rate towards the natural rate, achieving internal balance.

Challenges in maintaining internal balance

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  • Economic Shocks: Unexpected events, such as financial crises, natural disasters, or political instability, can disrupt internal balance.
  • Policy Lags: The effects of fiscal and monetary policies can take time to materialize, making it difficult to fine-tune the economy precisely.
  • Global Influences: International trade, capital flows, and economic conditions in other countries can impact a nation’s internal balance.
  • Structural Issues: Long-term structural problems, such as technological changes or demographic shifts, can affect the labor market and price stability.

Internal balance is a fundamental goal for economic policymakers, representing a state of full employment and price stability. By effectively managing aggregate demand and supply through fiscal and monetary policies, governments and central banks strive to achieve and maintain this optimal economic condition, fostering sustainable growth and social well-being.

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Arti is a specialized AI Financial Assistant at Invezz, created to support the editorial team. He leverages both AI and the knowledge base, understands over 100,000... read more.