The amount by which a producer's income exceeds total operating costs, including the cost of capital provided by the firm's owners. A zero economic profit means a firm is earning the normal, economy-wide rate of profit in the accounting sense, with investors receiving a rate of return no greater than the return their capital could earn elsewhere in the economy. Positive economic profits will typically attract new entrants (domestic and/or foreign) to the industry .Protectionism may be the response of domestic firms seeking to prevent such entry by foreign competitors, transforming a competitive industry to an oligopoly. Persistent negative economic profits can lead to a shakeout.
The difference between revenues and costs over a period of time, where costs comprise expenditures, opportunity costs, and normal profits.