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capacitythe maximum amount of output that a firm is physically capable of producing, at a point in time, given the fullest and most efficient use of its existing plant or plants.
Over time, a firm may adjust its capacity to meet changes in demand and the competitive situation facing it, investing in new plant or extending existing plant to meet an increase in demand, or closing down plant, permanently or temporarily (‘MOTHBALLING’), to meet a situation of OVERCAPACITY.
When preparing a PRODUCTION BUDGET, it is necessary to ensure that the firm has sufficient production capacity to meet planned output levels. A firm's capacity or the capacity of industry in general may be limited by the availability of capital equipment and labour.
The maximum rate of output which the firm can produce will depend upon the capacity of its individual factories which in turn depends upon the capacity of various departments and work stations within each factory See INPUT-OUTPUT CONTROL, PRODUCTION SCHEDULING, PRODUCTION-LINE BALANCING. See CAPACITY UTILIZATION, LIMITING FACTOR, RATIONALIZATION, INDIVISIBILITIES, CAPACITY CONSTRAINED RESOURCE, CAPACITY CONTROL, CAPACITY CUSHION, CAPACITY PLANNING, CAPACITY REQUIREMENTS PLANNING.
- 1the maximum amount of output that a firm or industry is physically capable of producing given the fullest and most efficient use of its existing plant. In microeconomic theory, the concept of full capacity is specifically related to the cost structures of firms and industries. Industry output is maximized (i.e. full capacity is attained) when all firms produce at the minimum point on their long-run average total cost curves (see PERFECT COMPETITION). If firms fail to produce at this point, then the result is EXCESS CAPACITY.
- in macroeconomics, capacity refers to POTENTIAL GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT. The percentage relationship of actual output in the economy to capacity (i.e. potential national income) shows capacity utilization. See also MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION.
The legal ability of parties to enter into contracts.
• Full capacity. Having unlimited ability to enter into binding contracts of all types.
• Limited capacity. Having the ability to enter into binding contracts for certain things, such as a minor's contracts for necessities, but also having the ability to disaffirm other contracts upon reaching legal age, for example.
• No capacity. Having no ability to enter into contracts, such as one who has been adjudicat- ed as mentally incompetent.