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What are market forces?

Definition of market forces

In economics, market forces refer to factors that influence the price and quantity of goods and services, driving supply and demand in a market. These include competition, consumer preferences, technological advancements, economic growth, and government regulations. 

Key takeaways

  • The definition of market forces is that it is the economic factors that influence the price and quantity of goods and services in a market.

  • Examples of market forces are competition, consumer preferences, technological advancements, economic growth, and government regulations.

  • Changes in market forces may have a significant impact on the behaviour of buyers and sellers in the market.

  • Understanding market forces is crucial for businesses to make decisions about pricing strategies, marketing campaigns, and product development.

Law of supply and demand

The law of supply and demand is a fundamental concept that describes the relationship between the quantity of a good or service that suppliers are willing to provide and the quantity that consumers are willing and able to purchase at a given price. 

In a competitive market, the price of a good or service is determined by the intersection of the supply and demand curves. When supply rises and demand falls – prices decrease, whereas when supply falls and demand rises – prices increase.

Market forces definition

The interaction of supply and demand with market forces is critical in determining the price and quantity of goods and services in the market. Changes in market forces may affect the behaviour of both buyers and sellers, resulting in shifts in the supply and demand curves.

Types of market forces

There are a few types of market forces that can impact the supply and demand of goods and services, including:

  • Economic: Consumers’ buying behaviour and their ability to purchase a particular product or service. These include economic matters such as changes in income, inflation, exchange rates, and interest rates

  • Competitive: The influence of competition from other companies offering similar products and services. These look at the competitive climate of a particular area, considering factors such as competitive pricing, promotional strategies, and barriers to entry.

  • Political and legal: Regulations, laws and government policies that can influence how products or services are created and marketed.

  • Technological: Advances and developments in technology that can affect the demand for a product or service. 

  • Demographic: Population characteristics such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and lifestyle choices.  

  • Social and cultural: The influence of the public perception on the products and services of a business. These could be anything from changing population sizes and developing trends, to traditional values, beliefs, ethics, and customs held by a group of people. 

Effects of market forces

Market forces can have significant impacts on the global economy. By influencing the price and quantity of goods and services, market forces can affect the profitability of businesses within the industry and the level of output within an industry or economy.

Moreover, the impact they have on the economy feeds into sentiment on the financial markets. As such, market forces are important for investors to consider in terms of portfolio management. Market forces may drive the short-term and long-term market trends that investors follow to inform their trading decisions.

Market forces also affect the performance of individual companies. Changes in market forces over time can affect a company’s strategy and the products and services it sells. Looking at market forces is one way that analysts try to predict the performance of stocks in the future – both individual companies and the broader financial markets.

Understanding market forces and their effects is important for businesses, investors, policymakers, and consumers to make informed decisions about products and services.

Examples of market forces’ impact on markets

Market forces examples include how weather can disrupt the supply of commodities, and how social consciousness surrounding climate change is changing demand for products.

For instance, heavy rainfall can damage crops like coffee in Latin America or rice in southeast Asia, reducing supply and increasing prices. Conversely, an increase in crude oil production that creates a surplus above demand levels brings down oil prices as supply is readily available and sellers will accept lower prices to offload their inventory.

To take an example of social change as a market force, concerns about carbon emissions allowances are encouraging consumers to buy electric cars, prompting automotive manufacturers to change supply by launching new vehicle models.


In conclusion, market forces are a powerful driver of the economy, shaping the production, pricing, and distribution of goods and services. 

Understanding market forces and their impact on businesses is crucial for entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers alike. By staying informed about market trends and adapting to changing conditions, businesses can stay competitive and thrive in a constantly evolving marketplace; while investors can make informed decisions.

Before making any investment or trading decisions, always make sure you do your own research


What are the major market forces?

Some of the major market forces include supply and demand, production cost,  competition, consumer behaviour, economic conditions, exchange rates, and political and regulatory environment.

How do market forces affect the global economy?

Market forces affect the global economy in a number of ways as they determine the level of economic activity in different countries. Higher demand and limited supplies drive up prices, while increased competition tends to drive down the price of goods and services. 

Market forces can cause economic booms and recessions. They also can lead to currency appreciation and depreciation and even shift entire production systems from one region to another. 

As such, market forces can have far-reaching implications for the stability and growth of the global economy.

Can businesses control or manipulate market forces?

Businesses can attempt to control or manipulate market forces by using various pricing strategies, promotions, advertising, and other tools to influence buyer behaviour. They can also take advantage of changing economic conditions by shifting supply and demand. 

However, market forces remain largely out of the control of any single business. As such, some of the most successful companies are those that can predict and adapt to changing market conditions.

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