Аннотация к тексту «Types of Inflation»

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    There are several ways of defining inflation. In some contexts it refers to a steady increase in the supply of money. In others it is seen as a situation where demand persistently exceeds supply. It seems best, however, to define inflation in terms of its basic symptom – rising prices. Inflation is a situation in which the general price level is persistently moving upwards.

    In the extreme form of inflation, prices rise at a phenomenal rate and terms such as hyperinflation, run-away inflation, or galloping inflation have been used to describe this situation. Germany experienced this kind of inflation in 1923 and by the end of that year prices were one million times greater than their pre-war level. Towards the end of 1923, paper money was loosing half or more of its value one hour, and wages were fixed and paid daily.

    Under conditions of hyperinflation people lose confidence in the currency’s ability to carry out its functions. It becomes unacceptable as a medium of exchange and other commodities, such as cigarettes, are used as money. When things have become as bad as this, the only possible course of action is to withdraw the currency and issue new monetary units. So great was the loss of confidence in Hungary that the new currency had to be given a new name, the Forint replacing the Pengo.

    Another type of inflation is described as suppressed inflation. This refers to a situation where demand exceeds supply, but the effect on prices is minimized by the use of such devices as price control and rationing. We should note that the price controls and rationing do not deal with the causes of inflation, they merely attempt to suppress the symptoms. The excess demand still exists and it will tend to show itself in the form of waiting lists, queues, and almost inevitably, in the form of black markets.

    The most common type of inflation is that experienced since the war in Britain and other developed countries. This is creeping inflation where the general price level rises at an annual rate between 1 and 6 percent.

    The causes of inflation are usually classified as demand-pull or cost-push.

    Demand inflation

    Demand inflation may be defined as a situation where aggregate demand persistently exceeds aggregate supply as current prices are pulled upwards. This type of inflation is usually associated with conditions of full employment. If there are unemployed resources available, an increase in demand can be not by bringing these resources into employment.

    Supply will increase and the increase in demand will have little or no effect on the general price level. If the total demand for goods and services continues to increase, however, a full employment situation will eventually be reached and no further increases in output are possible (i.e. in the short run). Once the nation’s resources are fully employed, an increase in demand must lead to an upward movement of prices.

    A situation of excess demand may arise when a country is trying to achieve export surplus, in order, perhaps, to pay off some oversees debt. Exports are inflationary because they generate income at home but reduce home supplies. Imports, of course, can compensate this deficiency of home supply, but if exports are greater than imports there will be excess demand in the home market unless taxes and savings are increased to absorb the excess purchasing power.

    Demand inflation might develop when, with full employment, a country tries to increase its rate of economic growth. In order to increase the rate of capital accumulation, resources will have to be transferred from the production of consumer goods to the production of capital goods. Incomes will not fall since the factors of production are still fully employed, but the supply of the things on which these incomes may be sent will fall. Unless taxation and/or savings increase there will be excess demand and rising prices.