Ist die Inflation wirklich tot?

CAMBRIDGE – Ist das Zeitalter hoher Inflation für immer vorbei? In einer Welt langsamen Wachstums, hoher Verschuldung und enormen Verteilungsdrucks ist die Frage, ob die Inflation tot ist oder nur schläft, sehr wichtig. Ja, durch massive institutionelle Verbesserungen bei den Zentralbanken wurden der hohen Inflation gewaltige Barrieren in den Weg gelegt. Aber ein großer Teil der Vertrauenswürdigkeit der Zentralbanken beruht letztlich auf dem größeren makroökonomischen Umfeld, in dem sie tätig sind.

In der ersten Hälfte der 1990er Jahre betrug die jährliche Durchschnittsinflation in Afrika 40%, in Lateinamerika 230% und in den Transformationsländern Osteuropas 360%. Und in den frühen 1980ern lag die Inflationsrate in den Industriestaaten im Durchschnitt bei fast 10%. Heute scheint hohe Inflation so weit entfernt, dass viele Analysten sie als kaum mehr als eine theoretische Kuriosität betrachten.

Damit liegen sie aber falsch. Unabhängig davon, wie sehr die Zentralbanken die Inflationsrate lediglich als technokratische Entscheidung präsentieren möchten, ist sie letztlich doch eine soziale Wahl. Und einige der Faktoren, die in den beiden letzten Jahrzehnten geholfen haben, die Inflation einzudämmen, sind in den Hintergrund getreten.

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