from Follow the Money

Inflation isn’t just rising in Saudi Arabia, Russia and China

October 5, 2007

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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Saudi inflation is rising

Chinese inflation is rising. (see p. 74

Russian inflation may not be rising, but it sure isn't falling either.  It looks set to overshoot the government's target.

Dollar pegs in the emerging world are rather clearly no longer disinflationary -- or a source of "imported" monetary discipline. 

And it sure seems that -- judging from this Wall Street Journal article -- the US college student CPI is set to rise. (hat tip Abnormal Returns

This isn't just a Friday afternoon post.   There is an international economics angle in the Wall Street Journal article -- two really.

It seems like US microbreweries are substituting Oregon hops for Bavarian and Czech hops.   International adjustment in action!

And the same forces that are pushing up prices in China and Saudi Arabia are also having an impact on the college CPI.    China is booming, helping to keep oil prices high.  Oil prices support high spending and investment (especially with negative or near-negative real interest rates) in the oil-exporting economies, driving Saudi and Russian inflation up.   Corn is a substitute for oil (ethanol).   And if corn prices go up and wheat and barley prices don't, farmers will plant more corn and less wheat and barley.   Throw in a bit of bad weather and China ends up driving up the price of beer ...  

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