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  1. Despite a rebound in the economy, the fundamentals of many firms have not take a turn for the better.
  2. Despite a bounce in the economy, the fundamentals of many firms have not take a turn for the better.

If I want to express that the economy recovers from a recession, which word should I choose?

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The two nouns say much the same thing but there is a distinction between their implied extent of the economic recovery being referred to.

Objects that bounce do not rise very far before they start falling again. The word suggests a temporary, moderate movement.

Rebound, on the other hand, suggests a steadier, more positive ascent.

Depending on your judgement of the improvement that you are describing, you can opt for the lesser bounce or the stronger rebound.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rebound
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bounce

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  • I think it might be more accurate to say rebound can often imply [permanently] rise back up to the normal level, as opposed to bounce implying [temporarily] oscillate between an unsustainable high level and a "base" level, with progressively smaller peaks, before settling at the lower level. Jan 2 '19 at 14:41
  • @FumbleFingers I wish I'd worded it that way Jan 2 '19 at 14:56
  • I bet someone else here could express exactly the distinction I was making there in far less words, but I'm glad you see it the same way. If two native speakers agree on a subtle distinction like this, it pretty much proves there's at least some truth to the perspective! Actually, I just remembered that in financial jargon, a bounce is sometimes explicitly referenced as a dead cat bounce (in my experience, dead cats don't bounce very high, or for long, and they quickly settle to the lowest point in the oscillation! :) Jan 2 '19 at 16:12
  • A bounce is a sudden rise in value of a share or currency in a fluctuating market. Siemens shares bounced yesterday on news of their deal with Toyota. A rebound is a recovery and a longer-term trend. Is the US economy really on the rebound after years of stagnation. We'll be with you right after the break...
    – Matt
    Jan 2 '19 at 18:01
  • There's also the verbal phrase bounce back which is synonymous with the verb rebound. Just to make it more confusing. Jan 2 '19 at 18:38

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