The Expansionary Period is a phase of the business cycle characterized by an economic recovery from a recession. With the GDP rising for two or more consecutive quarters, it is marked by a rise in employment, consumer confidence, and equity markets. This period also indicates lower interest rates and added money to the financial system, with companies taking advantage of the availability of loans to produce more products and services to meet growing consumer demand. The expansion symbolizes money being cheap to borrow, businesses building up investors, and consumers spending. But because the economy tends to operate at or near full capacity during periods of prosperity, growth periods are generally accompanied by inflationary pressures.