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English definition of “real cost”

real cost

noun [C]    
FINANCE the cost of producing goods or services, including the cost of all necessary materials and equipment and the cost of not using these materials and equipment for other activities: Critics of the report issued by the Department of Trade and Industry said that the figures underestimated the real cost of the carbon emissions trading scheme.
(Definition of real cost noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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