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Inflation during the pandemic: What happened? What is next?

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  • Jongrim Ha
  • M. Ayhan Kose
  • Franziska Ohnsorge

Abstract

We analyze the evolution and drivers of inflation during the pandemic and the likely trajectory of inflation in the near-term using an event study of inflation around global recessions and a factor-augmented vector auto-regression (FAVAR) model. We report three main results. First, the decline in global inflation during the 2020 global recession was the most muted and shortest-lived of any of the five global recessions over the past 50 years and the increase in inflation since May 2020 has been the fastest. Second, the decline in global inflation from January-May 2020 was four-fifths driven by the collapse in global demand and another one-fifth driven by plunging oil prices, with some offsetting inflationary pressures from supply disruptions. The subsequent surge in inflation has been mostly driven by a sharp increase in global demand. Third, both model-based forecasts and current inflation expectations point to an increase in inflation for 2021 of just over 1 percentage point. For virtually all advanced economies and one-half of inflation-targeting emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs), an increase of this magnitude would leave inflation within target ranges. If the increase is temporary and inflation expectations remain well-anchored, it may not warrant a monetary policy response. If, however, inflation expectations risk becoming unanchored, EMDE central banks may be compelled to tighten monetary policy before the recovery is fully entrenched.

Suggested Citation

  • Jongrim Ha & M. Ayhan Kose & Franziska Ohnsorge, 2021. "Inflation during the pandemic: What happened? What is next?," CAMA Working Papers 2021-58, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2021-58
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    Cited by:

    1. Ha,Jongrim & Kose,Ayhan & Ohnsorge,Franziska Lieselotte, 2021. "One-Stop Source : A Global Database of Inflation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9737, The World Bank.
    2. Olli-Pekka Hilmola, 2021. "Inflation and Hyperinflation Countries in 2018–2020: Risks of Different Assets and Foreign Trade," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 14(12), pages 1-16, December.
    3. Kohlscheen, Emanuel & Moessner, Richhild, 2022. "Globalisation and the slope of the Phillips curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 216(C).
    4. Yixiao Zhou & Rod Tyers & Damian Lenzo, 2022. "Debt, Inflation and the Shape of the Global Pandemic Recovery," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 22-03, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    5. Doojav, Gan-Ochir, 2021. "Socio-economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic: Macroeconomic impacts and policy issues in Mongolia," MPRA Paper 111197, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Jesse LaBelle & Ana Maria Santacreu, 2022. "Global Supply Chain Disruptions and Inflation During the COVID-19 Pandemic," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 104(2), pages 78-91.
    7. Luigi Bonatti Roberto Tamborini & Roberto Tamborini, 2021. "Is High Inflation the New Challenge for Central Banks?," DEM Working Papers 2021/14, Department of Economics and Management.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Global Inflation; COVID-19; Global Recession; FAVAR; Oil Prices; Global Shocks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy

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