TOEFL IBT – Economics

Vocabulary is promordial in order to improve your TOEFL score. Remember, Preparation is the key to succeed !

This vocabulary will be useful if you are taking a course in economics, for understanding the news in English, or for any number of English language exams you may take. Here we will look at the most commonly used words having to do with economics, along with their French translations.


giving funds to government agencies to help them carry out their programs

The current appropriations bill would cut it another $10 million.

la dotation


a business that keeps money for customers, makes loans, and provides other money-related services

The banks say they hope to complete the merger in January.

la banque


unable to pay debts

My father had to leave college when his father went bankrupt.

en faillite


a certificate of a loan to a government or a business

As bond prices went up Tuesday, their yields went down.



a plan of how much money a person, business, government, or organization is able to spend and how it will be spent

The state budget this year is $63.3 billion.

le budget

business cycle

alternating time periods of expanding and contracting economic activity

The company is aiming for 5 percent margins throughout the business cycle.

le cycle économique


an economic system in which individuals, not the government, control the production and distribution of goods and services

It was the easiest money in capitalism, while it lasted.

le capitalisme


bills and coins

That’s a lot of cash invested in one player.

les espèces


money that is available for use

American gold reserves could no longer support the dollars in circulation.

la circulation


someone who buys and uses goods and services

Some coffee retailers forecast that higher consumer prices might be unavoidable.

le consommateur/la consommatrice


money loaned, usually for a fee, that must be paid back

The credit application for the expectant mother was approved quickly.

le crédit


any kind of money that is used as a medium of exchange

They’ve tried six different currencies in the past decade.

la devise


money owed when you or a government buys something or borrows money

The deal is backed by about $700 million in debt.

la dette


money put into a bank

This caused bank deposits to plummet and credit to dry up.

le dépôt


a period of serious recession marked by high unemployment and a decline in business

The Great Depression was underway and Franklin Roosevelt was president.

la dépression


the study of how people, businesses, and governments choose to use their limited resources

Many need some help understanding the economics of the fishing industry.



a person who works for another in exchange for pay

Companies with 1,000 or more employees may opt out.



a person or company for whom other people work for pay

Employers are finally realizing there are costs to not helping employees.


exchange rate

the value of one nation’s currency in comparison to another

Greater stability in exchange rates is absolutely necessary for sustained growth.

le taux de change


to send goods from one country to another

Sony exports 64 percent of its products, Matsushita 36 percent.


fiscal year

12-month planning cycle in business and government

Those estimates are for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

l’année fiscale


to bring goods into one country from another

The company plans to import 4,500 convertibles this year.



the money a person gets from salary or wages, profits, interest, investments, and other sources

I ended up being owed a quarter of my yearly income.

le revenue


the money a person pays to borrow money, or the money a bank pays depositors for using their money

The cycle reversed as interest rates fell and economies hit bottom.



to use money to earn interest or income, or in the hopes of making a profit

There are very few markets I would invest in right now.



a sum of money borrowed for a certain amount of time

Those loans generally carry lower interest rates.


national debt

the amount of money that the government owes

It will be a great day when the national debt is eliminated.

la dette publique


a sum of money in an account, not including interest earned; in a loan, the original amount of money borrowed

Inflation does erode the future value of principal and interest payments.

le capital


money brought in by a business

It was a chance for them to create some incremental revenue.

le chiffre d’affaires


money that is put away to be used later

The money will go in the son’s savings account.



money that a government collects from people and businesses

I’m a working person who pays taxes.

les impôts


the total number of people out of work, but wanting to work

They say we’re driving them to unemployment and bankruptcy.

le chômage


income paid by the government to people who need it to live

If I was on welfare, it would be paid for.

les allocations


take money out of a bank account

Police never require an individual to withdraw money for an investigation.


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