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14 Types of Macro Environment

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The macro environment is a collection of economic, social and technological factors that impact a firm that are beyond a firm's control. The term is typically applied to broad factors that impact more than one industry. For many firms, the macro environment is an important consideration in strategy planning, decision making and forecasting. The following are common types of macro environment.

Economic Growth

Periods of economic expansion, recession and depression.

Inflation & Deflation

Changes in general price levels such as wages.

Interest Rates

Baseline interest rates often impact a firm's cost of capital.

Financial Markets

Capital markets go through periods where it is difficult or easy to raise money by issuing stocks and bonds.

Business Cycles

Business cycles such as periods of high commodity prices followed by periods of low prices.

Political Stability

Periods of political instability such as government shutdowns or major protests.

Trade Barriers

Trade barriers such as tariffs can impact costs and sales.


In periods of low unemployment, employees are more likely to leave for salary increases and it can be more difficult to recruit skilled resources.


Demographics such as an aging population.

Consumer Confidence

How optimistic customers are about the future.

Social Values

Shifting social values such as growing concerns over environmental and social issues.

Technological Change

Technological change can cause vast shifts in the economy that impact large numbers of firms. For example, an innovation can replace an entire industry over a relatively short time period.


New laws and regulations or elimination of regulations. For example, reduced regulations may result in more competition as regulations can represent a barrier to entry.


Tax rules, rates and interpretations.
Overview: Macro Environment
Definition (1)
Broad economic, social and technological factors that impact a firm.
Definition (2)
Factors that impact a firm that the firm has no significant influence over.
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