Inflation seems to be biting the world hard and new grim records are being registered as countries grapple with the aftermath of the pandemic, further aggravated by the Ukraine war, which affected food and fuel supply. Fears of recession in the United States and sky-rocketing prices in Asian nations are keeping world leaders on edge.
Here are ten points on global inflation:
1. Australia’s central bank is reported to have raised interest rates for a fourth straight month.. “The Board expects to take further steps in the process of normalising monetary conditions over the months ahead, but it is not on a pre-set path,” Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters amid announcement for the most drastic tightening since early 1990s.
2. Lowe has said the inflation – already at the highest level in decades- may take about two-three years to come down to stable levels. The central bank pledges to “do what is necessary” to check the spike in costs of living.
3. In South Korea, the consumer inflation surged to 24-year-high, July data revealed, as per another Reuters report. The inflation rate in July was said to be the fastest gain in the CPI (Consumer Price Index) since late 1998.
4. Japan is witnessing a spike in power prices due to heatwaves. The prices have shot up to 18-month-high, according to a Bloomberg report.
5. With an increase in the cost of living, Japan is also set to raise its minimum wage by the most on record. “Raising the minimum wage is important in terms of investing in people,” Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said after an advisory panel cleared a 3.3 per cent increase.
6. For the United Kingdom, inflation has derailed the schools-spending target and the goal to bridge the gap between rich and poor.
7. In the United States, the Treasury Department is said to be eyeing borrowing $444 billion in the current quarter through September as the Federal Reserve tightens its portfolio.
8. Meanwhile, the US dollar is reported to have dropped to its lowest level since mid-June against Japanese Yen,
9. Pakistan’s inflation rate soared to 14-year-high in July, local media reported, citing thePakistan Bureau of Statistics, due to surge in prices of perishable food items. The CPI–based inflation rate jumped 23.6% in urban areas and 26.9% in villages and towns on a yearly basis, Pakistan-based Geo TV reported.
10. “Most households did not change the amount of savings they held in the course of 2020, while about 20 percent increased and around 16 percent decreased their stock of savings,” the European Central Bank said Monday in a statement.
(With inputs from AFP, Reuters, Bloomberg)