Supply and Demand Equilibrium
By Jodi Beggs, About.com Guide
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Markets Are Not Always in Equilibrium
It's important to keep in mind that markets are not necessarily in equilibrium at all points in time, since there are various shocks that can result in supply and demand being temporarily out of balance. That said, markets trend toward the equilibrium described here in the long run and then remain there until there is a shock to either supply or demand. How long it takes a market to reach equilibrium depends on the specific characteristics of the market, most importantly how often firms have the chance to change prices and production quantities.