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What is inflation? Economics explained

Inflation is one of the most important concepts in economics. It’s also one of the simplest. It’s just the average rate that prices are rising. A small amount of inflation is healthy for an economy - but how is it calculated and what happens when it gets out of control?


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Graham Watson's curator insight, December 16, 2015 5:21 AM

The Guardian with a nice little clip looking at inflation, with some nice anecdotal stuff about Zimbabwe. Worth a look. It looks at what inflation is and why a little bit of inflation is a good thing.

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Which tax is the most misguided?

Which tax is the most misguided? | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Telegraph commentators name the taxes they hate the most and why, in the latest programme in the Financial Talking Points series
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Autumn statement 2015: five key charts

Autumn statement 2015: five key charts | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Growth, borrowing, spending cuts, deficits and surpluses - what you need to look out for in George Osborne’s statement on the economy

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Graham Watson's curator insight, November 25, 2015 10:27 AM

The Guardian with a chartastic little collection - the Guardian does data very well; one of two of these puppies could end up in some of my updated Powerpoints!

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UK inflation is negative again, but what does this mean for consumers?

UK inflation is negative again, but what does this mean for consumers? | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Low inflation has mixed implications for households – it’s good news for borrowers but consumers with a lot of debts should try to pay them off
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Slowdown in UK GDP growth: what the economists say

Slowdown in UK GDP growth: what the economists say | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Leading economists and experts give their take on the slowdown in British economic growth over the third quarter

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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:18 PM

Vox pops on the state of the UK economy. OW Jeremy Cook must be having half term off. Or has a sore throat, or somesuch.

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Dwindling dollars

Dwindling dollars | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Facing a shortage of foreign exchange, Egypt allows its currency to fall

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Geoff Riley's curator insight, October 30, 2015 3:01 PM

Please do read through this article on the weakening Egyptian pound - the currency is falling fast because of persistent current account deficits, a slump in inward FDI and capital flight by nervous investors. Does an exchange rate depreciation necessarily improve competitiveness? Lots of good development economics this article.

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These charts will tell you what's going on in the UK economy

These charts will tell you what's going on in the UK economy | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
As the Bank of England prepares to publish its latest forecasts on growth, wages and inflation, here are ten charts that show the current state of the economy

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Graham Watson's curator insight, November 4, 2015 3:32 PM

Tomorrow, as of course you know is 'Super Thursday' when the Bank of England publishes all sorts of forecasts, an Inflation Report, the minutes of the last MPC meeting and predicts the National Lottery numbers for the weekend.

 

So, perhaps the last one might be made up, but the rest is true and here are ten charts that reflect the current state of the UK economy. If you'd like to be on the ball...

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Spending review: George Osborne 'secures deals' on 30% cuts - BBC News

Spending review: George Osborne 'secures deals' on 30% cuts - BBC News | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Four government departments have provisionally agreed to cut their spending by an average of 30% over the next four years, George Osborne is to announce.

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Graham Watson's curator insight, November 9, 2015 2:40 AM

This has implications for the public finances and, I'm sure that campaigners will also point out that it also has implications for the quality of public services too. The one that surprises me the Department for the Environment - presumably meeting any climate change agreements that come out of the Paris talks is going to be relatively cheap.

 

Either that or government is hideously inefficient. No wonder the Chancellor looks smug, even by his standards.

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Help to Buy scheme may harm financial stability, say MPs | Money ...

Help to Buy scheme may harm financial stability, say MPs | Money ... | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Commons committee chairman voices warning over consequences if there are any errors in 95% mortgages scheme.
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UK GDP since 1955 | Business | theguardian.com

UK GDP since 1955 | Business | theguardian.com | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Gross domestic product is the economic output of Britain. See how it has changed over time.
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UK inflation to remain high 21 October 2013 | ForexLive

UK inflation to remain high 21 October 2013 | ForexLive | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
UK energy utility prices to rise underpinning above BOE target inflation.
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International Foreign Trade

International Foreign Trade | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
International Foreign Trade, by Intl Foreign Trade: updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos. (International Foreign Trade is out!
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Joblessness: A chronic drag on the economy and social stability - Al Jazeera America

Joblessness: A chronic drag on the economy and social stability - Al Jazeera America | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Al Jazeera America
Joblessness: A chronic drag on the economy and social stability
Al Jazeera America
Moreover, most of the jobs that have been created during the so-called recovery are low-paying positions, many of them part time with no benefits.
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Have central banks lost their ability to control inflation? | Bruegel

Have central banks lost their ability to control inflation? | Bruegel | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
The potential effects of global integration on inflation dynamics, and whether this could affect the ability of central banks to fulfil their mandates.

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Graham Watson's curator insight, December 7, 2015 7:08 PM

A quite brilliant summary of why Central Banks have started to lose their ability to control inflation as a result of globalisation.

 

A further hyperlink and you can even download the whole paper - courtesy of the Bruegel Institute.

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How Osborne is bailed out by deflation - BBC News

How Osborne is bailed out by deflation - BBC News | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
There is a useful windfall for George Osborne from the deferral of the first rise in UK interest rates

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Graham Watson's curator insight, November 24, 2015 1:20 PM

Robert Peston fleshes out his position that the deferral of interest rate rises is going to hand the Chancellor an unexpected windfall. How convenient! Two factors will result in this: lower payments to holders of index-linked gilts and more income from the Bank's holding of government debt as a result of QE.

 

Of course, the Bank of England is still as independent as it ever was, and let no-one suggest otherwise...

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George Osborne scraps tax credit cuts in welfare U-turn

George Osborne scraps tax credit cuts in welfare U-turn | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Chancellor says in autumn statement that improvement in public finances means he is able to ditch controversial cut
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The UK’s deals worth billions with China: what do they really mean?

The UK’s deals worth billions with China: what do they really mean? | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
President Xi Jinping’s visit generated a huge – and controversial – series of agreements on trade, technology and culture. What do they mean?

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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 25, 2015 7:58 AM

This Observer piece attempts to itemise the extent to which the recent State visit has generated Chinese investment in various sectors of British industry and the implications of this for British jobs.

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Why don’t we save our steelworkers, when we’ve spent billions on bankers? | Aditya Chakrabortty

Why don’t we save our steelworkers, when we’ve spent billions on bankers? | Aditya Chakrabortty | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Angela Merkel and Matteo Renzi have used European Union funds to safeguard their steel manufacturers, yet David Cameron won’t even lift a finger to help

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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 28, 2015 6:52 AM

Excellent Guardian article by Aditya Chakrabortty - that even Peter Oborne endorses on Twitter. However, I will disagree with the latter because the difference between the bankers and steelworkers is that protecting the former allowed the entire economy to continue to function, whereas not protecting the latter won't cause it to come to a standstill.

 

However, I accept that this is based on a counterfactual, and that it's a counterfactual that the government, bankers and the media would like us to believe...

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Pound jumps as UK manufacturing hauls itself out of doldrums

Pound jumps as UK manufacturing hauls itself out of doldrums | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
UK manufacturing activity jumps in October after months of near-stagnation, sending the pound up against the dollar and euro

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Graham Watson's curator insight, November 2, 2015 7:42 AM

Not so much a full 'scoop', more of a note: however, it's worth noting that it links the fate of UK manufacturing and the value of the pound. You might think about why this might be the case? And also, what other factors need to be taken into account?

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Low interest rates could allow 'unsustainable' house price growth

Low interest rates could allow 'unsustainable' house price growth | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Holding rates low for too long could build up problems in the UK's property market, warns Savills

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Graham Watson's curator insight, November 5, 2015 2:38 PM

Regular readers of my boards might be aware of how well-connected I'm not: however, in this instance, the director of residential research at Savills, Lucian Cook, is someone I know. I've played cricket against him on a few occasions.

 

His reflections on the housing market are also interesting and flag up the possibility of a housing price bubble, especially in London. At the moment, the major constraint on house buying is the ability of first-time buyers to save for a deposit. However, if rates rise then there are going to be fairly severe affordability issues in the years ahead.

 

Sage words. You read them here first. Or in the Telegraph, if you beat me to it.

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Capital Investment: General Electric to build new trains for India's railways

Capital Investment: General Electric to build new trains for India's railways | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
General Electric has won a $2.6bn (£1.7bn) contract from the Indian government to build a fleet of new trains for the country.

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Geoff Riley's curator insight, November 9, 2015 5:22 PM

Investment in new rolling stock is an important part of the Modi plan to rejuvenate India infrastructure and increase long run aggregate supply. US company GE is set to benefit from this big contract.

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OECD Says Global Inflation Eased in September - Wall Street Journal

OECD Says Global Inflation Eased in September - Wall Street Journal | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
OECD Says Global Inflation Eased in September Wall Street Journal The annual rate of inflation across the world's largest economies fell for the second straight month in September, a development that if sustained would make many central banks more...
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Is Deflation Rearing Its Ugly Head Again? | The Felder Report

Is Deflation Rearing Its Ugly Head Again? | The Felder Report | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
I've heard a LOT of talk lately from folks worried about inflation. I just don't see it. When I look across the asset markets, in fact, all I can see, outside of stocks, are signs of deflation. Time for a little chart dump: I don't care what ...
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Income Inequality Is the Enemy of Economic Growth: Robert Reich ...

Income Inequality Is the Enemy of Economic Growth: Robert Reich ... | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
From the blog Daily Ticker: Just hours after Yale professor Robert Shiller won the Nobel prize for economics Monday he told the Associated Press: "The most important problem that we are facing today...is rising inequality in ...
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Deflation is Coming

Deflation is Coming | National & International Economy - F582 | Scoop.it
Worried economists are spending an inordinate part of this November 2013 explaining why there is little to worry about (Brace yourself, deflation is coming | http://t.co/MiuBj1zz3m)...
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