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In simple terms, inflation rates measure what has happened to consumer prices over the latest 12-month period. But what increases inflation? Well, economic growth is generally followed by a stronger and growing labor market, which means that unemployment is down and wages are increasing. This increases consumer’s disposable income and increases the cost of wages for companies. Both of those factors push prices up for consumers, which in turn, increases inflation rates. This is where interest rates, inflation’s best friend, comes into play. Shortly after inflation increases, interest rates begin to increase to control inflation (generally to 2%). Governments increase interest rates to incentivize people to save a larger chunk of their disposable income and decrease discretionary spending, in turn, decreasing consumer prices.

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Three weeks ago, Robert Mugabe, who at age 93 had served as Zimbabwe’s head of state for 37 years, purged his vice president, and longtime loyal supporter, Emmerson Mnangagwa in a move which elevated Mr. Mugabe’s 52-year-old wife to next in the line of succession. This move sparked outrage within the country and ultimately cumulated in a de facto military coup that forced the resignation of Robert Mugabe. The three tumultuous weeks came to a close last Friday with the swearing in of the former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa as the nation’s new president. While civil order appears to have been restored, the question still remains as to what the future holds for Zimbabwe’s economy.

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Inflation plays a major role in every economy in the world and measuring it is a very difficult issue for government statisticians. A variety of indices to measure inflation exist and each country picks the indices that are deemed relevant and measure it according to their own economy. Therefore, even if two countries use the same index, the basket of goods used to measure the index will include different items that are constantly revised and updated.

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Consumer prices surged this September in the United Kingdom, rising at the fastest annual pace in two years. A seasonal rise in clothing prices, increasing hotel stay prices, and a spike in gas prices are all contributing factors to this inflation. According to the Office for National Statistics, the Consumer Price Index has risen by 1.0% as of September in 2016, the highest increase since November 2014.

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On May 26, the price of the bitcoin began to surge, hitting a value of $467.50. Throughout the weekend, the currency continued its dramatic trajectory, spiking at $570 before settling around $530. This amounts to a sudden increase of 21% in the midst of a consistent, if low, period for the currency. While these values are far below bitcoin's one-time peak of $1,151, they are the highest prices the digital currency has reached since 2014. That same year marked a heavy blow for the bitcoin, bottoming it out at low rates that remained in force over the past year. Now, investors are indicating promise in the currency once again: Over the weekend, daily global transactions equated to $134,056,000, with over 15 million bitcoins in supply.

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For a while now, Europe has been going through a wide variety of issues. Whether it’s the refugee crisis, risk of Britain voting to leave the European Union, or Greece’s economic disaster, Europe has been set back recently. Despite these issues, European leaders cannot afford to lose sight of their long-term economic goal, “Growth.” Europeans need to act now due to the continent's aging population that creates a significant barrier for economic growth. Statistics show that by 2050, the EU labor force could shrink by 42 million, or 12%, making growth almost impossible to achieve. 

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As of late, there has been a lot of talk of whether the United States Federal Reserve Bank will raise interest rates in September. Typically, the Federal Reserve would raise its benchmark interest rate when the economy is growing too fast to encourage people to spend less and save more. This slows the economy down, thereby reducing inflationary pressure. A raise in interest rates signals a perception that inflation is rising and that the economy is healthy and growing.

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Imagine a scenario where a market is losing value (deflation), which in turn scares away investors and greatly reduces cash flow in the active market. This stems growth, as more people lose confidence in a downward spiraling market. This is a scenario that the European Central Bank (ECB) would like to avoid, as the Eurozone is currently experiencing -0.1% deflation. Perhaps the ECB’s most important response has been through quantitative easing, which has had a substantial impact on the Eurozone's economy.

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In February, the inflation rate in the United Kingdom fell to 0%. This is the lowest rate since records of inflation were first taken in 1960. Official figures demonstrate that lower prices of transportation, food, and computer goods helped to cut the rate back from January’s inflation rate of 0.3%. Although these figures are good indicators in some ways, they can also impact the interest rates set by the Monetary Policy Committee, which is considering raising the rates from their record low of 0.5%.

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It's no secret that the Eurozone is an economically struggling region of the world, and although it has been recovering from the blow caused by its economic crisis, it has been doing so very feebly. Now, the recovery has suddenly stopped; in the second quarter of the year, the Eurozone was recorded as growing 0%. While economists say that the overall Eurozone economy should not sink into a recession yet again, it does not seem like the recovery will pick up its pace anytime soon. The future of its countries economies all depends on what actions the European Central Bank takes.

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International economists are all asking the same question: Is the Eurozone's financial crisis over? For a region of the world that has borne some of the worst repercussions of the Great Recession, it could potentially be said now that the biggest brunt of the crisis is over, and the countries of the Eurozone are now on their (uneasy) way to recovery. However, this is not a confident prediction. Several factors, such as worryingly low inflation and high unemployment, are still present in these economies, showing that more problems may still be nigh. At this point it may be dangerous to assume the Eurozone has seen the last of its economic woes. Here is a closer look.

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Japanese consumers rushed to local retailers on March 31 to purchase large numbers of goods. Even online retailers, such as “Aksul”, had their systems overloaded by the high volumes of transactions of basic goods such as toilet paper and instant rice. Why were the Japanese people in such a hurry to purchase these products? This is due to the sales tax hike from 5 to 8 percent, which was implemented the day after, April 1.

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Many emerging markets have noted the rapid devaluation of their currencies taking place over the past year. In Colombia, the peso is now worth 2,017.01 per U.S. dollar, the weakest currency level since 2009. While other emerging markets such as South Africa and Turkey are fighting incessantly to combat currency declines by raising interest rates, Colombia is taking a different approach by fully embracing the decline of its currency.

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Recent financial figures have shown that several countries around the globe have experienced some of their lowest inflation rates in years. Normally this would be the goal of the nations' central banks, but in the economic states of these regions, this low inflation could be the source of several problems. Now the issue facing many of the world's richest nations is to avoid extremely low inflation and to try and raise prices. The proposed processes to achieve these goals have the potential to lead to some intense competition.

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Venezuela experienced an extreme 12-month inflation rate of 54% last month and shortages of basic goods. Venezuelan President Nicolas Madura has responded to extreme inflation by forcing managers of local businesses to lower their prices with arrests and armed forces. The socialist leader stated that the seizure of these stores was just the tip of the iceberg and that he will take over more businesses. These events could have a major effect on Venezuela’s economy, including an outflow of foreign investment and firms.

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Starting in 2008, the financial crisis affected most of the countries in the world. Recently, a light of global economic recovery was shed on many of these countries. However, a new challenge aroused in the Asian currency price market. In India, people hope that the government can change a record-low currency trading situation, accelerating inflation. Furthermore, they hope India’s economy can find its way back to the normal path.

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England, the third largest economy entity in the euro zone, is facing difficulties on its way to economic recovery and is seeking help from a Canadian governor. Taking the term from Sir Mervyn King, Mark Carney became the new governor of the Bank of England (BE) with hopes of bringing a breath of fresh air to the British economy. Before entering Carney’s time in charge, let’s take a glance at the British economy and predict the future trends under Carney’s lead.

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India, the world’s tenth largest economy according to the International Monetary Fund, is seeing troubling signs in the short-term outlook. Recently, India has seen a slowing growth rate in GDP, increase in inflation to 9.1%, and a decrease in local investment. Many economists attribute these worrisome signs to the corruption and scandals plaguing the growing nation.  In recent months, the central government has been struggling to get the economy back on track.

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It’s no secret that in these hard economic times companies worldwide have had to streamline processes and cut back on costs. These cut backs are starting to directly affect the value consumers are getting for their money. Now, due to rising global food prices, food and beverage companies are struggling more than most and having to cut back even more. Chips are mysteriously missing from bags, canned vegetables contain fewer ounces than before, and packaged goods of all types are seeing box size reductions. Even things like diapers are seeing shrinking package sizes. This is certainly not good news for consumers.

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During the past year the future of the euro-zone was quite uncertain with raising debt, countries not being able to pay it off, and with many Germans feeling it was not fair for everyone to look towards the strong nation for financial help. The severe weather worsened the situation by slowing down activity and resulting in a low 0.3% growth during last quarter of 2010.

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There has been much hype recently about rising inflation rates around the globe. The euro zone had an inflation rate of 2.2% in 2010, while China's rose 5.1% from November 2009 to November 2010. Many people fear that a surge in inflation could have an adverse effect on the recovery efforts of many economies. But what exactly is inflation and how does it affect an economy?