Monday, March 21, 2016

Under Inflated

China 2.493%
India 5.905%
Luxembourg 0.535%
United States 1.373%

I started collecting figures for the countries that caught our eye but it became evident that different sites logged different inflation rates. That hasn't stopped this reckless blogger where it comes to fiscal facts and lifestyle tidbits but still to be taken with a grain of salt (at least that's affordable)

I ended up gravitating to for my comparisons even if this struck useful examples like Belarus and American Samoa from contention.

As Venezuela demonstrates, it can depend very much on when a sample is taken, even if other nations are subject to sustained low or high inflation.

I've used Wikipedia quite a bit through the years but it is behind what other sites at least guess at. Worldbank data shows you the rates each year so you can see by what increments inflation is rising or falling. It may be that a static market is not what you want. Again, trying to work out how much I've got in my swag is not my bag.

We are interested in the inflation rate in the country that has the greatest raw productivity even if that comes as much as anything from the size of the country and its population. Crowds can can be a hindrance as much as a potential customer though if Bangladesh is anything to go by.

Qatar manages at a tidy low 3.57% in 2014. Now this isn't in the negative figures but consider whether you would rather live in Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, El Salvador or Switzerland. I'm practicing my yodel as we speak.
I don't think my aversion to war zones and dictators who never die informs my preference, neither e'en does that Swiss chocolate, and I think I'm being as scholarly as someone who left off Consumer Education in 1978 can be when I make my analysis: those countries had further to fall. They all strike me as countries that had had a massive upheaval so, to be heading in the right direction now is to be commended but it doesn't suggest  it's going to be an easy economy to live in; just a hopeful one.

I think the measure is a basket of goods at the supermarket which can then allow for other factors for individual items (I would have gone for the loaf of bread and said that it cost $3 in, say, 2011 and five years later costs you 49.98% more. Or is that statistically too long for a staple item?)

Even if the bread for bread campaign wins, is it so terrible to have bread that costs three bucks a while back now gives me no change from a fiver? Isn't that the same situation here; in which case we're just arguing over how long you wait or whether you note the gradual increases and the spikes. We've seen the cost of some consumer goods go up and then slide back down when the conflict is resolved or the weather goes back to normal.

Petrol goes up and down over years. When and how can you usefully factor it in?

Tuvalu has 3.8% inflation. I don't think they've got too much to worry about.

Unsurprisingly, all the high per capita GDP countries have very manageable low inflation. A few sit in the three per cent range, others are lower.

Inflation in Central African Republic was reported at 25.58% but Democratic Republic of Congo only 3.70%; Malawi back up at 23.50%

Djibouti sits at the low 2-3 per cents, Mozambique at the high but not crazy high 12.18%. Senegal is forecast to go down to 1.4%

Economists do opine about how there is an inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment and this appears to be borne out by Afghanistan's steep rise in unemployment in the last two years; it now sits at 40%
Zimbabwe is 11.30%, El Salvador 7%, Cyprus 15.3%, Poland 10.3%, Bulgaria 10.2%
These aren't good figures but nowhere near as bad as wartorn Afghanistan
The joker in the pack is Thailand with a tiny 0.91% unemployment.

Venezuela for all its problems is on a par with us at 6% unemployment and Malawi 6.6%
Ukraine is slightly worse at 9.4%, South Sudan is a surprising 12% (surprising for a complete basketcase) while the other Sudan is actually worse off with 19.5% unemployment, Yemen is really screwed with 29%
The best of the high inflation nations are Argentina with 5.9% unemployment, Russia with 5.8, Ghana with 5.2%, Russia 5.8% and the one possible exemplar for arguing for the inverse relationship, Belarus.


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