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What is Inflation, Deflation, Stagflation, Hyperinflation

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Rajesh Goyal 




What is Inflation or What is the meaning of Inflation :


In economics inflation means, a rise in general level of prices of goods and services in a economy over a period of time.   When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services.  Thus, inflation results in loss of value of money.   Another popular way of looking at inflation is "toomuch money chasing too few goods".   The last definition attributes the cause of inflation to monetary growth relative to the output / availability of goods and services in the economy.


In case the price of say only one commodity rise sharply but prices of other commodities fall, it will not be termed as inflation.  Similarly, in case due to rumors if the price of a commodity rise during the day itself, it will not be termed as inflation.


What are different types of inflation :


Broadly speaking inflation is divided into two categoires i.e.


(a) DEMAND - PULL INFLATION:   In this type of inflation prices increase results  from an excess of demand over supply for the economy as a whole. Demand inflation occurs when supply cannot expand any more to meet demand; that is, when critical production factors are being fully utilized, also called Demand inflation.


(b) COST - PUSH INFLATION:   This type of inflation occurs when general price levels rise owing to rising input costs. In general, there are three factors that could contribute to Cost-Push inflation: rising wages, increases in corporate taxes, and imported inflation. [imported raw or partly-finished goods may become  expensive due to rise in international costs or as a result of  depreciation of local currency ]



What is Deflation ? :


Deflation is the opposite of inflation.   Deflation refers to  situation, where there is decline in general price levels.   Thus, deflation occurs when the inflation rate falls below 0% (or it is negative inflation rate).   Deflation increases the real value of money and allows one to buy more goods with the same amount of money over time.   Deflation can occur owing to reduction in the supply of money or credit.   Deflation can also occur due to  direct contractions in spending, either in the form of a reduction in government spending, personal spending or investment spending. Deflation has often had the side effect of increasing unemployment in an economy, since the process often leads to a lower level of demand in the economy.



What is Stagflation :


Stagflation refers to economic condition where economic growth is very slow or stagnant and prices are rising.  The term stagflation was coined by British politician Iain Macleod, who used the phrase in his speech to parliament in 1965, when he said: “We now have the worst of both worlds - not just inflation on the one side or stagnation on the other. We have a sort of ‘stagflation’ situation.”    The side effects of stagflation are increase in  unemployment- accompanied by a rise in prices, or inflation. Stagflation occurs when the economy isn't growing but prices are going up. At international level, this happened during mid 1970s, when world oil prices rose dramatically, fuelling sharp inflation in developed countries.


What is Hyperinflation :


Hyperinflation is a situation where the price increases are too sharp.  Hyperinflation often occurs when there is a large increase in the money supply, which is  not supported by growth  in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Such a situation results  in an imbalance in the supply and demand for the money.  In this this remains  unchecked;  it results into sharp increase in prices and depreciation of the domestic  currency.

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What is Headline Inflation


Headline inflation refers to inflation figure which is not adjusted for seasonality or for the often volatile elements of food & energy prices, which are removed in the Core CPI. Headline inflation will usually be quoted on an annualized basis, meaning that a monthly headline figure of 4% inflation equates to a monthly rate that, if repeated for 12 months, would create 4% inflation for the year. Comparisons of headline inflation are typically made on a year-over-year basis. Also known as "top-line inflation".





Click Here to :  Know Everything About  Wholesale Price Index and Consumer Price Index in India /  WPI and CPI in India / How Inflation is Measured in India