Who's afraid of a little deflation?

A sudden drop in prices wouldn't be good, but concerns over a steady annual decline of 2 per cent are overblown.

With European inflation declining to 0.3 per cent and US inflation slowing, a spectre now haunts the Western world. Deflation, The Economist recently proclaimed, is a “pernicious threat” and “the world’s biggest economic problem.” Christine Lagarde , managing director of the International Monetary Fund, called deflation an “ogre” that could “prove disastrous for the recovery”.

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