Most Popular
1. It’s a New Macro, the Gold Market Knows It, But Dead Men Walking Do Not (yet)- Gary_Tanashian
2.Stock Market Presidential Election Cycle Seasonal Trend Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3. Bitcoin S&P Pattern - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Nvidia Blow Off Top - Flying High like the Phoenix too Close to the Sun - Nadeem_Walayat
4.U.S. financial market’s “Weimar phase” impact to your fiat and digital assets - Raymond_Matison
5. How to Profit from the Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Bitcoin Gravy Train Trend Forecast 2024 - - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Bond Trade and Interest Rates - Nadeem_Walayat
9.It’s Easy to Scream Stocks Bubble! - Stephen_McBride
10.Fed’s Next Intertest Rate Move might not align with popular consensus - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - 8th Apr 24
Gold Is Rallying Again, But Silver Could Get REALLY Interesting - 8th Apr 24
Media Elite Belittle Inflation Struggles of Ordinary Americans - 8th Apr 24
Profit from the Roaring AI 2020's Tech Stocks Economic Boom - 8th Apr 24
Stock Market Election Year Five Nights at Freddy's - 7th Apr 24
It’s a New Macro, the Gold Market Knows It, But Dead Men Walking Do Not (yet)- 7th Apr 24
AI Revolution and NVDA: Why Tough Going May Be Ahead - 7th Apr 24
Hidden cost of US homeownership just saw its biggest spike in 5 years - 7th Apr 24
What Happens To Gold Price If The Fed Doesn’t Cut Rates? - 7th Apr 24
The Fed is becoming increasingly divided on interest rates - 7th Apr 24
The Evils of Paper Money Have no End - 7th Apr 24
Stock Market Presidential Election Cycle Seasonal Trend Analysis - 3rd Apr 24
Stock Market Presidential Election Cycle Seasonal Trend - 2nd Apr 24
Dow Stock Market Annual Percent Change Analysis 2024 - 2nd Apr 24
Bitcoin S&P Pattern - 31st Mar 24
S&P Stock Market Correlating Seasonal Swings - 31st Mar 24
S&P SEASONAL ANALYSIS - 31st Mar 24
Here's a Dirty Little Secret: Federal Reserve Monetary Policy Is Still Loose - 31st Mar 24
Tandem Chairman Paul Pester on Fintech, AI, and the Future of Banking in the UK - 31st Mar 24
Stock Market Volatility (VIX) - 25th Mar 24
Stock Market Investor Sentiment - 25th Mar 24
The Federal Reserve Didn't Do Anything But It Had Plenty to Say - 25th Mar 24

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Iran Is Not Hyperinflating

Economics / HyperInflation Mar 08, 2020 - 06:37 PM GMT

By: Steve_H_Hanke

Economics

Each and every day we read that Iran is hyperinflating or about to hyperinflate. The same is written about Zimbabwe and Venezuela, as well as a potpourri of other countries that are experiencing inflation flare-ups. While Iran came close to hyperinflating in the fall of 2012, it has never experienced an episode of hyperinflation. And while Zimbabwe experienced episodes of hyperinflation in 2007–08 and in 2017, it is not experiencing one now. At present, Venezuela is the only country experiencing hyperinflation.

It’s clear that journalists and those they interview tend to play fast and loose with the word “hyperinflation.” To clean up the hyperinflation landscape, we must define the word. So, just what is the definition of the oft-misused word “hyperinflation?” The convention adopted in the scientific literature is to classify an inflation as a hyperinflation if the monthly inflation rate exceeds 50 percent. This definition was adopted in 1956, after Phillip Cagan published his seminal analysis of hyperinflation, which appeared in a book edited by Milton Friedman, Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money.


Since I use high-frequency data to measure inflation in countries where inflation is elevated, I have been able to refine Cagan’s 50 percent per month hyperinflation hurdle. With improved measurement techniques that I developed when I was studying Zimbabwe’s record hyperinflation, I now define a hyperinflation as an inflation in which the monthly rate exceeds 50 percent per month for at least thirty consecutive days.

After years of research with the help of many assistants, I have documented and ranked 58 episodes of hyperinflation, which are presented in the Routledge Handbook of Major Events in Economic History. Hungary holds down the top spot. Its peak hyperinflation occurred in July 1946, when prices were doubling every 15 hours. Zimbabwe’s November 2008 hyperinflation peak is second highest, but way behind Hungary’s. At their peaks, the daily inflation rates were 207 percent in Hungary and 98 percent in Zimbabwe. The most memorable hyperinflation was Germany’s in 1923. But, it only ranks as the fifth highest, with a peak daily inflation rate of 20.9 percent — way lower than the top four rates.

Now, let’s turn to the world’s only current hyperinflation: Venezuela. It ranks as the 14th most severe episode in history. Today, the annual rate of inflation is 2,986 percent. While this rate is modest by hyperinflation standards, the duration of Venezuela’s episode, as of today, is long: 38 months. Only two episodes of hyperinflation have been more long-lived.

Even though we can measure hyperinflation very accurately, no one has ever been able to forecast the magnitudes or durations of hyperinflations. But that hasn’t stopped the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from producing forecasts for hyperinflation in Venezuela. Even though the IMF does not measure Venezuela’s hyperinflation, something that can be reliably done, the IMF does forecast hyperinflation, something that cannot be reliably done.

Surprisingly, the press dutifully reports the IMF’s forecasts for Venezuela’s annual inflation rate. For example, as late as October 2019, the IMF was forecasting that Venezuela’s annual inflation rate would hit a whopping 200,000 percent by the end of the year. Well, the IMF’s “guestimation” was a bit off. I measured Venezuela’s annual inflation rate on December 31, 2019, and it was 6,869 percent.

But it turns out that the IMF isn’t the only one making finger-in-the-wind forecasts of hyperinflation. The Trump administration’s special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, recently asserted that U.S. sanctions against Iran would fuel a hyperinflation. Well, even though Iran came close to a hyperinflation in October 2012, it failed to jump over the hurdle. And today, Iran isn’t even close to the hyperinflation threshold. Indeed, since the New Year, the Iranian rial has been very stable against the greenback on the black market, and the official annual inflation rate is 38.6 percent. And, according to my most recent measurements, Iran’s inflation rate is falling.

Follow me on Twitter.

By Steve H. Hanke

www.cato.org/people/hanke.html

Steve H. Hanke is a Professor of Applied Economics and Co-Director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Prof. Hanke is also a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.; a Distinguished Professor at the Universitas Pelita Harapan in Jakarta, Indonesia; a Senior Advisor at the Renmin University of China’s International Monetary Research Institute in Beijing; a Special Counselor to the Center for Financial Stability in New York; a member of the National Bank of Kuwait’s International Advisory Board (chaired by Sir John Major); a member of the Financial Advisory Council of the United Arab Emirates; and a contributing editor at Globe Asia Magazine.

Copyright © 2020 Steve H. Hanke - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2022 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in