Search results for: Inflation
Tim Congdon, World Economics, June 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has not only come as a profound shock to the major economies, but also exposed tensions between leading schools of thought. Uncertainty has arisen about the medium- and long-term consequences of the policy responses to COVID-19. Will the pandemic, and the consequent major upheaval in economic policy, lead to deflation or more inflation? This article—which is intended above all as a contribution to the emerging deflation vs. inflation debate—begins by discussing official policy in recent months. It then states a position in the tradition of the quantity theory of money and develops the argument that inflation will rise significantly in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Steve H. Hanke, Nicholas Krus & Joanna Gawlik, World Economics, June 2020
Newly discovered primary data reveals two previously undiscovered episodes of hyperinflation. They occurred in German-occupied Poland from late 1939 to early 1945. Nazi-occupied Poland, a territory then referred to as the General Government, experienced monthly inflation rates of 71.4% in January 1940 and 54.4% in August 1944. Inclusion of the 1940 and 1944 Polish cases of hyperinflation brings the total number of episodes of hyperinflation documented in the Hanke-Krus World Hyperinflation Table to 60. With these newly discovered cases, Poland has experienced more episodes of hyperinflation—four—than any other country in the world.
Yu Li Zhu & Lu Chang Rong, World Economics, September 2019
Based on the open-economy new Keynesian model, this paper studies the influence of core inflation on the central bank’s monetary policy reaction rules by optimising the multi-target welfare loss functions, and draws three conclusions. Sustainable balance of payments should be considered as a goal rather than a tool for monetary policy. The central bank should focus more on core inflation than normal inflation in its daily operations. An authoritative core inflation sequence should be established as a focal point in the policymaking process. In addition, we emphasise that the central bank should accurately judge the impacts of real exchange rate changes, and adjust how frequently it intervenes in interest rates.
Steve H. Hanke & Charles Bushnell, World Economics, September 2017
Venezuela now exhibits the 57th historic episode of hyperinflation as measured in the Hanke–Krus World Hyperinflation Table. Entry to the hyperinflation dataset depends on three qualifying criteria: inflation rates greater than 50% per month; the persistence of this rate for at least 30 consecutive days; and full documentation so that inflation estimates are replicable. This paper measures Venezuela’s hyperinflation by transforming changes in the US dollar–Venezuelan bolivar exchange rate into implied inflation rates using the purchasing power parity doctrine. The purchasing power parity method is accurate during periods of hyperinflation. Venezuela’s hyperinflation peaked with a monthly inflation rate of 219.7% on 30 November 2016.
Christopher Balding, World Economics, June 2014
Baseline Chinese economic data are unreliable. Taking published National Bureau of Statistics China data, three problems appear. First, base data on housing price inflation are manipulated. Second, the NBSC misclassifies most Chinese households as private housing occupants. Third, the NSBC applies a straight 80/20 urban/rural private housing weighting. To correct for these manipulative practices, I use third party and related NBSC data to correct the change in consumer prices in China between 2000 and 2011. I find that using conservative assumptions about price increases, the annual CPI in China should be adjusted upwards by approximately 1%. This reduces real Chinese GDP by 8–12% or more than $1 trillion in PPP terms.
World Economics, March 2011
Price indexes are the most important of all economic indicators simply because they are the tool used to calculate the real size, speed and direction of all forms of economic activity. Price indexes are compiled almost everywhere, but with major differences in method and sampling procedures. Some methods and procedures have led to significant errors. Even in the case of a country as advanced as Japan, critics have calculated that imperfections in method have led to a rate of price inflation around 1.8% per year above the level a true cost of living index would have shown. Further research undertaken by World Economics has attempted to make estimates for changes in discounting and promotional practices at the retail level. The conclusion is that, in reality, the overestimation of price changes by the Japanese CPI in recent years may well have been in excess of 2% per annum, and could have been significantly more. Different CPI assumptions change economic growth estimates dramatically. Using World Economics estimates, adding in a minimum figure for marketing and retail changes seen in recent years suggests, contrary to official data, that Japanese consumption growth exceeded that of the US.
Yuri Dikhanov & Eric V. Swanson, World Economics, March 2010
Angus Maddison and Harry Wu (2008) claim that, in 2003, China’s GDP was 73% of that of the United States on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. Rejecting the results of the 2005 International Comparison Program (ICP), they construct their own PPP using a 1986 GDP estimate for China (Ren & Chen 1995) which they adjust upwards, and then extrapolate to 2003 using their revised growth rates for China, which they adjust downwards. This note examines the validity of their adjustments and assumptions, and finds them to be inconsistent with recommendations both from the perspective of index number theory and recommended national accounting practices. The 2005 PPP estimates from the ICP, which Maddison and Wu reject, produce a more plausible estimate of the size of China’s economy relative to that of the US (43% in 2005).
Elio Lancieri, World Economics, September 2008
The recent publication by the World Bank of PPP-GDP estimates for 2005, referred to 146 countries, seems a good occasion to reopen the long-standing debate on the use of Purchasing Power Parities. While theoretical speculations on the subject have continued, no estimates were supplied for more than a decade. The author’s alternative method for GDP estimation is based on inflationadjusted long-term exchange rates, where real GDP estimates are obtained through simultaneous equations. He describes the method in the light of his experience and compares its results for 100 countries with both ICP estimates and GDPs at exchange rates.
Andreas (Andy) Jobst & Harry X. Wu, World Economics, June 2008
China is the world’s fastest growing economy and is also the second largest. However, the official estimates of the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics exaggerate GDP growth and need adjustment to conform to international norms as set out in the 1993 System of National Accounts (SNA). This paper presents and discusses the necessary adjustments. The two major contributions are new volume indices for the industrial sector and for "non-material" services. Finally, in order to measure the level of Chinese GDP in internationally comparable terms, the authors use a measure of purchasing power parity (PPP) instead of the exchange rate.
Carol Graham, World Economics, September 2005
The economics of happiness is an approach to assessing welfare that combines economists’ techniques with those of psychologists, and relies on more expansive notions of utility than does conventional economics. Research based on this approach highlights the factors—in addition to income—that affect well-being. It is well suited to informing questions in areas where revealed preferences provide limited information, such as the welfare effects of inequality and of macroeconomic policies such as inflation and unemployment. One such question is the gap between economists’ assessments of the aggregate benefits of the globalization process and the more pessimistic assessments that are typical of the general public. The paper summarizes research on some of these questions, and in particular on those relevant to globalization, poverty, and inequality.
Ralph Turvey, World Economics, September 2004
A monthly consumer price index traces changes in the monthly cost of a year’s
consumption using a sample of prices. But in some months the prices that can be
sampled will temporarily exclude some of the products that were bought in the
base year, Christmas trees providing a textbook example. Worse still, it becomes
permanently impossible to observe prices for sampled products that have been
completely superseded. There are methods for dealing with these two problems,
but they leave serious and irremediable defects in the index.
Mick Silver, World Economics, March 2003
The Retail Prices Index (RPI) is one of the UK’s most important macroeconomic
indicators, as well as being used for indexation/adjustments for inflation
to wages and benefits. This paper argues that the dynamic changes in product
markets and consumers’ responses to price changes need to be incorporated into
the RPI if it is to effectively measure changes in the cost of living. The quite
positive and innovative work undertaken by the Office for National Statistics
(ONS) is acknowledged. However, the basis of the RPI, in measuring the price
changes of a matched, fixed basket of goods, is considered inappropriate to
modern markets. Some proposals are made.
Ralph Turvey, World Economics, September 2000
The treatment of owner-occupied dwellings in Consumer Price Indexes varies between countries and is the subject of continuing controversy. Ralph Turvey explains the alternative possible treatments and reasons for disagreement.
Jonathan Haskel & Holger Wolf, World Economics, June 2000
The authors review recent international price comparisons to examine the veracity of claims about “rip-off Britain”. They reach three conclusions. First, methodologically, the data requirements for a meaningful price comparison are very demanding and most of the evidence does not meet these standards. Second, price differences within countries seem, in many cases, to be just as high
if not higher than price differences between countries. Third, for most goods, the difference between the UK and the rest of the EU seems to be minor relative to the difference between the EU and the United States. The real puzzle is the comparatively high prices in the EU.
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