Eurozone inflation is high when it comes to the prices of daily purchases, by Daniel Lacalle

One way to keep inflation down is to take out the things that people actually buy out of the price indexes. From Daniel Lacalle at dlacalle.com:

For more than ten years, ECB monetary policy has been ultra-expansionary, whether there was crisis, a recovery, economic growth or stabilization. The worst excuse of all that was used to justify endless quantitative easing has been the often-repeated mantra that “there is no inflation.”

Defenders of aggressive monetary policy have always used the same arguments really.

First, they say there is no inflation – as if an average 2% increase in prices during a crisis whereby many salaries fell up to 20% does not constitute “inflation”.

After, they say it is temporary, so to justify maintaining aggressive easing policies.

Next up, the “inflationistas”  seek to blame businesses or some kind of external enemy for the rise in prices, whereby they ask governments to impose price controls.

Important to understand here is that money creation is never neutral. It disproportionately benefits the first recipients of newly created money – governments -, and negatively affects real wages and savings of those that are not able to buy financial assets: the poorest.

There clearly is massive inflation when it comes to financial asset prices. Negative-yielding sovereign bonds of nations with weak solvency ratios amount to massive inflation. Continuous price increases of both quoted and private assets amount to high inflation, and all of this is caused by monetary policy.

Furthermore, anyone can understand that the official headline consumer price index (CPI) is masking the increase in the price of goods and services that we really purchase on a daily basis, relative to the ones we only purchase occasionally, or for leisure. Any European citizen understands that tourism and technology may become cheaper, as a result of competition and innovation, but that the things we purchase every day have increased more in price than reflected by the headline CPI.

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