STAGFLATION–MEANING, CAUSES AND EFFECTS

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Stagflation is a unique economic situation characterized by high inflation, slow economic growth, and high unemployment.

Stagflation is a compound word that combines the words stagnant and inflation. So, Stagflation means the economy is stagnant (slow economic growth and high unemployment) and there is high inflation.

Stagflation is defined by a decrease in GDP, an increase in the unemployment rate, and an increase in the rate of inflation.

Causes Of Stagflation

Economists have given two principal reasons for stagflation: Supply shocks and inappropriate macroeconomic policies

1. Supply shocks: Stagflation can result when the productive capacity of an economy is affected by negative supply shocks, such as an increase in the price of oil for an oil-importing country.

Such negative supply shocks cause prices to rise, making production costlier and less profitable, ultimately slowing economic growth.

2. Inappropriate macroeconomic policies: Stagflation can also result If the government creates policies that harm the industry while rapidly expanding the money supply. 

For example, if the central bank permits excessive growth in money stocks while also overregulating the goods and labour markets. 

This will result in the stagflation as there will be a dramatic rise in costs and prices, which will ultimately lead to job losses

Effects Of Stagflation

1. Stagnant economy: During stagflation, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrinks or grows slowly due to a widespread decline in economic activity.

2. High unemployment: Of course, the natural result of economic stagnation is unemployment, which is a situation in which people who are willing and able to work cannot find jobs.

3. Inflation: As economic activity declines, prices rise as more money is directed toward a limited number of items. 

Milton Friedman famously described this situation as "too much money pursuing too few goods".

4. Reduce consumer confidence: Seeing high inflation and high unemployment, consumers will be highly pessimistic about the overall state of the economy

5. may render monetary policy useless: Usually, when there is high inflation and low unemployment, the Government introduces recessionary monetary policy.

When there is low inflation and high unemployment, the government usually introduces an expansionary monetary policy.

In the case of stagflation, however, both inflation and unemployment are high, placing the government in a difficult situation.

This is because monetary policy will be rendered quite ineffective as there is no trade-off between inflation and unemployment.

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