Many IELTS writing questions could potentially have a link with the economy and it is one of the areas that some students struggle to write about. Sometimes that is linked to a lack of knowledge of the economy in their own language, but other times they just have a lack of vocabulary in English to describe it. I’ve provided two lists here with some common economic terms and then some natural collocations. As you might notice this is part 2 of the economy vocab list, so don’t forget to look back at part 1 which you can find by clicking the blue button above. 


Macroeconomic (adj) 

Macroeconomics (noun) 

Related to the study of large economic systems, such as those of whole countries or areas of the world

The government strategy is to maintain stable macroeconomic factors. 

Market economy (noun) 

An economic system in which salaries and the prices of goods are determined by supply and demand rather than by the state

The company has played a leading role in helping to educate managers from the emerging market economies of Eastern Europe. 

Monopoly (noun)

The complete control of trade in particular goods or the supply of a particular service

There are laws to stop companies becoming monopolies.

Predatory pricing (noun)

The fact of a company selling its goods at such a low price that other companies can no longer compete. 

The airline has reduced its prices so sharply that it has been accused of predatory pricing

Privatisation (noun)

The act of selling a business or an industry so that it is no longer owned by the government

There were fears that privatisation would lead to job losses. 

Recession (noun)

A difficult time for the economy of a country.

Many economists are worried that Covid 19 could cause a deep financial recession.

Recovery (noun) 

The process of improving or becoming stronger again. 

The government is forecasting an economic recovery

Regulation (noun) 

An official rule made by a government or some other authority

Under the new regulations spending on public services will be strictly controlled

Revenue (Noun)

The money that a government receives from taxes or that an organization, etc. receives from its business

The government may face a shortfall in tax revenue in the future

Risk (Noun)

A person or business that a bank or insurance company is willing/unwilling to lend money or sell insurance to because they are unlikely/likely to pay back the money. 

With five previous claims, he’s now a bad insurance risk. 

Shares  (Noun) 


Any of the units of equal value into which a company is divided that are sold raise money. People who own shares receive part of the company’s profits. 

The company purchased 1.5 million shares of the stock last week

The public sector (noun)

The part of the economy of a country that is owned or controlled by the government

Jobs in the public sector can be more stable than those in the private sector.

The private sector (noun) 

The part of the economy of a country that is not under the direct control of the government

The private sector runs the vast majority of rail services in the UK. 

Stock exchange (noun) 

A place where shares in companies are bought and sold; all of the business activity involved in doing this. 

The London stock exchange is one of the most famous in the world.

Stock market (noun) 

The business of buying and selling shares in companies and the place where this happens

The stock market crash of 2008 was a very tough time for banks and the financial markets. 

Supply and demand (noun) 

The relationship between the amount of goods or services that are available and the amount that people want to buy, especially when this controls prices

Oil prices should be set by supply and demand, and not artificially regulated. 

Takeover (noun) 

An act of taking control of a company by buying most of its shares.

The attempted takeover of the company was stopped by the competition commission. 

Tariff (noun) 

A tax that is paid on goods coming into or going out of a country

A general tariff was imposed on foreign imports

Tax avoidance (noun)

Ways of paying only the smallest amount of tax that you legally have to 

The Inland Revenue estimates that it is losing at least £10 billion a year because of tax avoidance.

Tax Evasion (noun)

The crime of deliberately not paying all the taxes that you should pay

Tax evasion schemes were responsible for over £16m of frauds last year.

Tax-free (adj) 

(money, goods, etc.) that you do not have to pay tax on

The country created a tax-free allowance for imports coming into the country. 

Tax haven (noun) 

A place where taxes are low and where people choose to live or officially register their companies because taxes are higher in their own countries

Many companies choose to register their businesses in a tax haven such as Panama to avoid paying high domestic taxes.

Trade deficit (noun)

A situation in which the value of a country’s imports is greater than the value of its exports. 

Brazil has run a $14 billion trade deficit with the US.

Treasury (noun) 

The government department that controls public money

The Treasury estimates that the top 1% of earners will pay about 32.3% of all taxes this year. 

Unstable (adj) 

Likely to change suddenly

The unstable economy made investors cautious to invest. 


Managing the economy



the economy




demand/the economy/industry



reduce/curb/control/keep down



growth/demand/a boom/a bubble



encourage/work with/compete with

the private sector


US/agricultural exports


cheap/foreign imports

the economy

grows/expands/shrinks/contracts/slows (down)/recovers/improves/is booming


an economic/housing/property boom

Economic problems

push up/drive up



industry/the economy

cause/lead to/go into/avoid/escape



a recession







a housing/stock market bubble


a stock market crash/the collapse of the banking system

face/be plunged

into a financial/an economic crisis

be caught in/experience

cycles of boom and bust

Public finance


the defence/education/aid budget


public spending

increase/put up/raise/cut/lower/reduce



interest rates


monetary policy


the (state/national/federal) budget


a balanced budget

run a ($4 trillion) 

budget deficit/surplus


taxes/austerity measures

Practice IELTS Economy Vocabulary

Answer the following questions and post your answers in the comments below.

1) What do you think will happen to the world economy this year? 
2) What can be done to improve the economy in your country? 
3) What is the most important aspect of your national economy? 

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