RESEARCH FROM 44 COUNTRIES SHOWS LEVELS OF RISING INFLATION ACROSS THE WORLD
World Economic Forum - 23 June 2022
- Inflation rates have doubled in 37 of 44 advanced economies over the past two years, according to Pew Research Center analysis.
- Turkey had by far the highest inflation rate in the first quarter of 2022, at 54.8%.
- The country where inflation has grown fastest is Israel, with a 25-fold increase.
- But there are exceptions, including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Japan.
Two years ago, with millions of people out of work and central bankers and politicians striving to lift the U.S. economy out of a pandemic-induced recession, inflation seemed like an afterthought. A year later, with unemployment falling and the inflation rate rising, many of those same policymakers insisted that the price hikes were “transitory” – a consequence of snarled supply chains, labor shortages and other issues that would right themselves sooner rather than later.
Now, with the inflation rate higher than it’s been since the early 1980s, Biden administration officials acknowledge that they missed their call. According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual inflation rate in May was 8.6%, its highest level since 1981, as measured by the consumer price index. Other inflation metrics also have shown significant increases over the past year or so, though not quite to the same extent as the CPI.
Inflation in the United States was relatively low for so long that, for entire generations of Americans, rapid price hikes may have seemed like a relic of the distant past. Between the start of 1991 and the end of 2019, year-over-year inflation averaged about 2.3% a month, and exceeded 5.0% only four times. Today, Americans rate inflation as the nation’s top problem, and President Joe Biden has said addressing the problem is his top domestic priority.
But the U.S. is hardly the only place where people are experiencing inflationary whiplash. A Pew Research Center analysis of data from 44 advanced economies finds that, in nearly all of them, consumer prices have risen substantially since pre-pandemic times.
In 37 of these 44 nations, the average annual inflation rate in the first quarter of this year was at least twice what it was in the first quarter of 2020, as COVID-19 was beginning its deadly spread. In 16 countries, first-quarter inflation was more than four times the level of two years prior. (For this analysis, we used data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of mostly highly developed, democratic countries. The data covers 37 of the 38 OECD member nations, plus seven other economically significant countries.)