Rising Inflation in the UK

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Inflation; ‘a situation in which prices rise in order to keep up with increased production costs… result[ing] [in] the purchasing power of money fall[ing]’ (Collin:101) is quickly becoming a problem for the government of the United Kingdom in these post-recession years. The economic recovery, essential to the wellbeing of the British economy, may be in jeopardy as inflation continues to rise, reducing the purchasing power of the public. This, in turn, reduces demand for goods and services, and could potentially plummet the UK back into recession. This essay discusses the causes of inflation, policy options available to the UK government and the Bank of England (the central bank of the UK responsible for monetary policy), and the effects they may potentially have on the UK recovery. In an economy, aggregate demand (AD) accounts for the total expenditure on goods and services. It has five constituents; Consumer expenditure (C), Investment expenditure (I), Government expenditure (G), Export expenditure (X) and import expenditure (M), This gives us: AD= C+I+G+X-M. Aggregate supply (AS) on the other hand is the total supply of goods and services in the economy. Increasing AD and decreasing AS both cause demand-pull and cost-push inflation respectively. Demand pull inflation occurs when aggregate demand (AD) continuously rises, detailed in Figure 1. The AD curve continuously shifts to the right, as demand continuously increases, from point a to b to c. This consequently causes an increase in the price level of goods and services. As prices rise, costs of production also increase, causing producers to reduce output (a decrease in aggregate supply (AS)), shifting the AS curve to the left and leading to yet another increase in prices, (t... ... middle of paper ... ...ies like this one have already been implemented mainly to reduce the overall budget deficit, rather than to reduce inflation. Conclusively, all of the policies discussed have both advantageous and disadvantageous affects, and so there currently is no definite answer to the problem. Inflation can be reduced; however doing so would sacrifice the fragile recovery of the British economy. The government must therefore decide which process is more important for the long-term health of the British economy, and decide on the policies that will best improve either situation. Either way, living standards are set to fall, and real income will also decrease in the foreseeable future. Works Cited Sloman, J. Wride, A. (compiler) (2007). Economics. 7thedn. Harlow: Pearson Custom Publishing Collin, P. (2006). Dictionary of Economics. London: A&C Black publishers Ltd

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