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No one likes it when prices go up. Having to get more money out of your purse or wallet to pay for the same amount of goods in a shop irritates most people. This is what most of us understand by inflation. But it goes wider than just shop prices and can be applied to many items other than consumer goods – wholesale goods, assets such as houses and even wages.

For an economist, inflation is a persistent rise in the general level of prices. A one-off spike in the price of bread is bad news for families but will not qualify as inflation unless it keeps rising and leads to a wider increase in prices. The prices of different goods and services ...

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