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In economics, an unexpected and unpredictable event that has a positive or a negative effect on the economy. A shock is said to be permanent if it has a long-run effect, for example, economic effects of major geographical discoveries or major technical developments; otherwise it is said to be transitory: for example, monetary or fiscal policy changes may have no long-run effect on real income. See also adverse supply shock.

Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.