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WordReference Collins English Usage © 2020
economics
‘economics’
Economics is a noun. It usually refers to the study of the way in which money, industry, and trade are organized.
Paula has a degree in economics.
When economics has this meaning, it is an uncountable noun. You use a singular form of a verb with it.
Economics is a science.
If you want to say that something relates to the subject of economics, you use economics in front of another noun.
He has an economics degree.
I teach in the economics department.
Be careful
Don't talk about an ‘economic degree’ or an ‘economic department’.
The economics of an industry or project are the aspects of it that are concerned with making a profit.
This decision will change the economics of the project.
When economics is used with this meaning, it is a plural noun. You use a plural form of a verb with it.
The economics of the airline industry are dramatically affected by rising energy costs.
‘economy’
Economy is also a noun. The economy of a country or region is the system by which money, industry, and trade are organized there.
New England's economy is still largely based on manufacturing.
Unofficial strikes were damaging the British economy.
Economy is also careful spending or the careful use of things in order to save money.
His home was small for reasons of economy.
‘economies’
If you make economies, you try to save money by not spending it on unnecessary things.
It might be necessary to make a few economies.
They will make economies by hiring fewer part-time workers.
Be careful
However, don't refer to the money that someone has saved as their ‘economies’. You refer to this money as their savings.
She spent all her savings.
He opened a savings account.
‘economic’
Economic is an adjective. You use it to describe things connected with the organization of money and trade in a country or region. When economic has this meaning, you only use it in front of a noun. Don't use it after a linking verb.
The chancellor proposed radical economic reforms.
What has gone wrong with the economic system during the last ten years?
If something is economic, it makes a profit, or does not result in money being lost. When economic has this meaning, it can go either in front of a noun or after a linking verb.
It is difficult to provide an economic public transport service.
We have to keep fares high enough to make it economic for the service to continue.
‘economical’
Economical is also an adjective. If something is economical, it is cheap to operate or use.
We bought a small, economical car.
This system was extremely economical because it ran on half-price electricity.
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