Inputs into production that are provided by nature.
(Peter Dungan, Toronto, PPG1002.)
Examples of natural resources include oil, land and mineral deposits.
Natural resources are divided into two general categories: renewable resources and non-renewable ones. Fish are an example of a renewable resource since, so long as the fishery is well managed, those fish that are caught can be naturally reproduced.
Oil is an example of a non-renewable resource because there is a limited supply of it which cannot be naturally reproduced. Once the supply of oil is depleted, nature will not create any more (for a very long period of time). Although natural resources can be important, they are not necessary for an economy to be highly productive. Japan and England are two examples of highly productive countries which do not have an exceptional store of natural resources.
Mankiw, N. Gregory, Ronald Kneebone, Kenneth J. McKenzie and Nicholas Rowe. 2008. Principles of Macroeconomics, 4th Canadian ed. Toronto: Thomson Nelson.