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Procyclic is a term used in economics and finance to describe a condition where a company’s or an industry’s financial performance is directly correlated to the fluctuations in the overall economy. When the economy is thriving, procyclic companies or industries generally perform well, and when the economy is in downturn, they typically underperform. Examples of procyclic industries could include luxury goods or construction, which often see increased activity during economic upturns.


The phonetic spelling of “Procyclic” is /proʊˈsaɪklɪk/.

Key Takeaways

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The term “procyclic” is crucial within business and finance because it refers to a condition where economic metrics move in the same direction as the overall economy. For example, when the economy grows, procyclic indices such as employment rates, consumer spending, corporate profits, etc., will also likely increase. Identifying and understanding procyclic trends helps companies, investors, and policymakers plan and respond effectively to different stages of the business cycle. The term also aids in forecasting future economic scenarios, allowing entities to align their strategies based on the projected economic phase. Hence, understanding procyclic behavior impacts decision-making processes and guides tactical and strategic planning.


Procyclic is a term used in economics and finance to describe a condition or an event that is believed to lead to the strengthening or weakening of economic indicator trends. The primary purpose of identifying procyclic financial events is to ascertain the relationship between major economic indicators and the overall health of an economy over different phases of a business cycle. The term helps analysts, policy makers, investors and corporations to predict the direction of the economy based on observable trends and plan measures accordingly.Considered as a financial tool, procyclic events show positive correlation with the overall state of the economy. In simple terms, during an economic upturn, procyclic elements such as employment rates, consumer spending, corporate profits and productivity levels tend to rise, fueling further growth. Similarly, during a downturn, these elements contract, intensifying the decline. Understanding procyclic indicators help businesses in strategic planning, investment decision making and risk management during various phases of a business cycle.


1. Example 1: An automobile manufacturing company is an example of a procyclical business. When the economy is thriving, people have more disposable income to spend on luxury goods like new cars. So the sales of the company increase, marking an upswing in the business cycle. On the contrary, in times of economic downturn, people tend to hold off on purchasing new cars which leads to a decline in the car manufacturer’s sales, reflecting the downswing in the business cycle. 2. Example 2: The construction sector can also be seen as procyclical. During periods of economic growth, there is often an increase in construction projects as businesses expand and individuals invest in property. Conversely, during a recession, construction often slows as both businesses and individuals cut back on expenses, decreasing demand in the construction industry. 3. Example 3: The tourism industry is another example of a procyclical industry. During prosperous economic times, people travel more for both business and pleasure, and the companies in the tourism industry experience increased revenues. However, in times of economic downturn, people are more likely to cut back on travel to save money, which reduces revenues in the tourism industry.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does the term ‘Procyclic’ mean in finance and business?

Procyclic refers to a condition of positive correlation between the overall state of the economy and the phase of a business or industry cycle. In simpler terms, if the economy is growing, a procyclic business or industry will also grow.

Can you give an example of a Procyclic industry?

The auto industry is a typical example of a procyclic industry. When the economy is booming, consumers have more disposable income to spend on cars, which leads to increased sales and growth for auto companies.

Is a Procyclic trend always positive?

No, while procyclic trends are associated with positive correlation, they can also mean that when the economy is doing poorly, procyclic industries tend to underperform as well.

How is the term ‘Procyclic’ different from ‘Countercyclic’?

While procyclic industries move in line with the general economy, countercyclic (or counter-cyclical) industries move in the opposite direction. So, when the economy is flourishing, countercyclic industries might do poorly, and vice versa.

Can an industry switch between being Procyclic and Countercyclic?

It’s quite rare for an industry to switch between being procyclic and countercyclic, as these characteristics tend to be inherent to the nature of the industry. However, individual companies within industries can sometimes display countercyclic tendencies due to exceptional management or unique business models.

Why is it important to understand if an industry or company is Procyclic?

Knowing whether a company or industry is procyclic can aid in investment and strategic business decisions. For instance, investors may want to invest in procyclic companies during an economic upturn for potentially higher returns.

Related Finance Terms

  • Economic Cycle: This describes the natural fluctuation of the economy between periods of growth (expansions) and periods of recession (contractions). Procyclic policies are often used in response to these cycles.
  • Counter-cyclical policies: These are government policies designed to counteract the natural business cycle, essentially being the opposite of procyclical policies.
  • Recession: This refers to the period when the economy is contracting, or shrinking. Procyclical policies can potentially exacerbate a recession.
  • Expansion: This is the time when the economy is growing and expanding. Procyclical policies may be used to stimulate further growth during an expansion.
  • Monetary Policy: This is the process by which the monetary authority of a country (like a central bank) controls the supply of money, often targeting an interest rate to ensure stability and general trust in the currency. Procyclical policies can influence a government’s monetary policy.

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