What Causes Inflation?

Written By Melissa Cook
Feb 14, 2023
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Inflation occurs when there is an increase in the money supply in relation to the economy’s ability to produce goods and services. As a result, there is a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. 

It is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the average change in prices over time that consumers pay for a basket of goods and services. 

Inflation can have a significant impact on an economy, as it affects the purchasing power of money, the distribution of wealth and income, and the level of economic growth.

There are several factors that can cause inflation, including:

Demand-pull inflation


This occurs when there is an increase in demand for goods and services that outpaces the supply. As a result, prices rise to balance out the supply and demand. This can be caused by factors such as economic growth, population growth, and increasing consumer spending.

Cost-push inflation


This occurs when the cost of production increases, leading to higher prices for goods and services. This can be caused by factors such as rising wages, increased taxes, and higher raw material costs.

Currency devaluation


If a country’s currency loses value compared to other currencies, it can lead to inflation. This happens because the cost of imports, such as raw materials and intermediate goods, becomes more expensive, leading to higher prices for consumers.

Monetary policy


The actions of central banks can also cause inflation. If a central bank increases the money supply, it can lead to inflation as more money is circulating in the economy and chasing the same amount of goods and services, driving up prices.



Inflation can also be driven by expectations of future inflation. If people expect prices to rise in the future, they may be more likely to spend their money now, which can drive up demand and lead to higher prices.

Natural disasters or wars


Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and droughts, or man-made disasters such as wars, can disrupt supply chains and lead to shortages of goods, driving up prices.

Structural factors


Some countries may have structural factors that make them prone to inflation, such as rigid labor markets or poor infrastructure. In these cases, inflation may be persistent and difficult to control.

Inflation can have both positive and negative effects on an economy. On the positive side, inflation can stimulate economic growth by encouraging investment and consumption. It can also help to redistribute wealth from savers to borrowers and from those who hold fixed-income assets to those who hold inflation-linked assets.

On the negative side, inflation can reduce the purchasing power of money, making it more difficult for consumers to afford the goods and services they need. It can also lead to a decrease in the value of savings and fixed-income assets, making it more difficult for people to plan for their financial future. In addition, inflation can lead to wage-price spirals, as workers demand higher wages to compensate for higher prices, which in turn drives up prices further.

To prevent or control inflation, central banks can use monetary policy tools such as adjusting interest rates, controlling the money supply, or using open market operations. They may also use other tools such as price controls or wage controls to manage inflation. However, these measures can also have unintended consequences, such as reducing economic growth or encouraging black markets.

If inflation has created financial difficulty in your life or has caused your credit card debt levels to become unmanageable, speak with an Americor Debt Specialist today about your debt relief options.


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