Expansion is a period of economic growth characterized by rising gross domestic product (GDP), employment, and trade. It is the opposite of a recession and is considered to be a normal part of the business cycle. During an expansion, businesses typically experience increasing demand, leading to increased production, hiring, and profits. This in turn can lead to increased consumer spending and investment, further contributing to economic growth. Expansions are typically identified by economists using various measures, such as changes in GDP, employment, industrial production, and personal income. An expansion is often defined as two consecutive quarters of increasing GDP, although other measures may also be used.