Shifts in Curves versus Movements along Curve

Notice that when hot weather drives up the price of ice cream, the quantity of ice cream that firms supply rises, even though the supply curve remains . the same. In this case, economists say there has been an increase in “quantity supplied” but no change in “supply.”

Supply refersto the position of the supply curve, whereas the quantity supplied refers to the amount suppliers wish to sell. In this example, supply does not change because the weather does not alter firms’ desire to sell at any given price. Instead, the hot weather alters consumers’ desire to buy at any given price and thereby shifts the demand curve. The increase in demand causes the equilibrium price to rise. When the price rises, the quantity supplied rises. This increase in quantity supplied is represented by the movement along the supply curve.

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