Price movement has different shades, so financial sciences use many categories to denote certain trends. From the outside, it may seem that all this difference in words is needed only for smart conversations about the state of the economy in university classrooms and on popular talk shows. However, this is not the case, since each of the categories serves as a signal of what is best for businesses and consumers to do at the moment so that they could benefit from a particular financial and economic situation.
Inflation, Disinflation, Reflation, and Deflation Explained
The main pair of categories that describe the opposite trends in relation to price movement are inflation and deflation.
- Inflation means a steady rise in prices and the depreciation of money.
- Deflation describes a fall in prices and an increase in the purchasing power of money so that consumers can buy more goods for the same amount of money as before.
Why do we need such auxiliary terms as disinflation and reflation? They refine explaining the process of rising or falling prices by adding new shades to this palette:
- Disinflation shows that inflation has slowed down, but deflation has not set in. The prices are still rising, but the pace of this growth has slackened. This could signal a recovery in the economy and the attempts of balancing.
- When the rise in prices after some slowdown returns to the previous pace, this process is called reflation. Sometimes, governments deliberately stimulate it to even out the economic processes in the country.
Is Disinflation Damaging Personal Finances?
It is much easier for people to live in stable economies, when all processes are predictable. Unexpected price movements can be frightening for those who are not financially savvy. However, if you figure out the principles of cyclical changes, the situation will become more understandable and no longer scary.
Disinflation is good for personal finances, as less of the budget is spent on basic necessities and utility bills. However, this is true only as long as it exists precisely in the form of disinflation and does not turn into deflation. A steady fall in prices leads to crisis processes in the economy, a decrease in wages, and unemployment. Therefore, governments are looking for the right balance through a combination of different policies aimed at reducing price increases or, conversely, reflation.
Would It Be Rational to Borrow During Disinflation?
The situation of rising prices is a serious challenge not only for personal finances but also for creditors:
- When inflation is high, lenders can get back less money in value terms if they don’t raise the interest rate.
- It is most unprofitable for consumers to repay a loan during deflation since in this case, they return in value terms more than they received.
- Deflation is the compromise that more or less balances the interests of the two sides. Lenders will be more willing to borrow money during disinflation than during inflation.
Therefore, if you are faced with the need to take out a small loan, use the services of the Payday Depot platform. It is a meeting place for lenders and borrowers, allowing the latter to compare different conditions and choose the most optimal ones.
So, when you hear that the country is experiencing disinflation, know that this is cause for cautious optimism and a sign that the economy may soon recover.