The business cycle refers to the swings in gross domestic product from recovery to recession. There are several factors influencing the business cycle.
Consumers tend to be the most important, reflecting 60-70% of GDP in developed countries. Trends in consumer spending can be monitored through retail sales and personal income data.
Business spending on inventories and investment is a smaller but more volatile component of GDP. It can be tracked using surveys such as PMI or ISM.
Monetary policy is used by governments to dampen the overall business cycle. The ability to use monetary policy as a business cycle lever is dampened by inflation, the pace of growth, unemployment levels and capacity utilization.