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Nominal is an adjective that, in general, means that the number or concept it is modifying has not been adjusted for changes such as inflation.

Expanded Definition

When making comparisons, make sure you know whether figures (GDP, yield, interest rate …) are being reported in nominal terms, or in "real" terms that have taken into account factors such as seasonality, stock splits, and changes in purchasing power.

It's easy to figure out the nominal increase in the price of something like a movie ticket over the past two decades, but the usefulness of that figure is limited beyond wowing youngsters about how things were "in my day." It does take more dollar bills to see a movie in a theater now than it did in the late 1980s. But is it taking a bigger percentage of your paycheck? Has the relation of the ticket price to the price of a loaf of bread changed?

A nominal yield, also called a coupon rate is the interest rate printed on the front of a bond that you will get throughout the life of the bond.

In a commodities market, the governing board could give a nominal quotation for something that hasn't been trading a lot and therefore doesn't have a current quote based on bid/ask action.

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