International Cost of Living Calculators

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Latest International Inflation Rates

Latest International Inflation Rates in 2021

A Decade of Low Inflation

For most of the past decade the world economy’s problem, has been too little inflation, not too much.

Low inflation allows governments to borrow heavily and central banks buy up debt and is key to the success of economic policies and financial markets.

Inflation in advanced economies has been stubbornly low ever since the 2008 global financial crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the global economy and lock-downs caused a collapse in economic activity and consumer demand. This led to a sharp fall in oil demand and energy prices across the world. Central banks responded to the pandemic with massive policy stimulus using interest rate cuts, asset purchases and liquidity injections to support the economy. Together these factors resulted in very low global inflation in 2020.

The Outlook for 2021

The good news is that the rollout of vaccinations globally is accelerating, and the early evidence is that they work. What we all want now is to get back to work, have a growing economy, and have dependable money that holds its value as we recover from the pandemic.

There are three main factors putting upward pressure on inflation in 2021:
1. Higher Energy Prices: Oil prices have now recovered to around the same level they were before the pandemic, so will soon begin to push up on inflation as they begin to be compared to the low level of prices last year.
2. The expiry of economic support and pent up demand: For example temporary VAT cuts pulled down inflation in 2020, the return in 2021 will push inflation higher. fully. Emerging bottlenecks threaten to raise the price of goods. A shortage of semiconductors caused by this year’s boom in demand for tech equipment is disrupting the production of cars, computers and smartphones.
3. Increased shipping costs: Global shipping costs almost trebled since the start of 2020. Space on container ships costs 180% more than a year ago.

In January 2021 underlying prices in the euro zone rose at their fastest pace for five years. Inflation will pick up noticeably over the next few months and remain elevated throughout most of 2021. This is not a bad thing. Modestly higher inflation is actually a positive indicator of the ongoing recovery in the global economy. The temporary nature of the factors pushing up inflation in 2021, combined with spare capacity in both product and labour markets, make it unlikely that inflation will increase further and become a real concern in the near future.

Beyond 2021

However if upward inflation trends surge long-term beyond 2021 there is reason to worry. Global debt is large and central-bank balance-sheets are swollen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. An era of high inflation and high interest rates must be avoided. There is a lot to like about the idea of escaping the low-inflation, low-rate paradigm of the past decade. But higher inflation will expose the world economy and financial markets to a bumpy ride.

What is the current rate of inflation in 2021?

The latest available inflation rate for all countries world wide (as available on 14 October 2021) are as follows:

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