It rose to a range of between 10% and 12% from February 1974 through April 1975. GDP by year to inflation by year, you’ll find stagflation in the United States occurred during the 1970s. McMillan says that paying attention to both the underlying data platforme de trading and the headlines is important. This decision removed commodity backing for the currency and put the U.S. dollar and most other world currencies on a fiat basis, ending most practical constraints on monetary expansion and currency devaluation.

  1. And if the government’s policies don’t get the economy going, you’re stuck with stagflation.
  2. The federal government manipulated its currency to spur economic growth.
  3. The term was revived in the U.S. during the 1970s oil crisis, which caused a recession that included five consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.
  4. In such a situation, prices surge, making production costlier and less profitable, thus slowing economic growth.
  5. Karl works with several organizations in the equities, futures, physical metals, and blockchain industries.

Try not to worry and instead be proactive in setting up the best financial scenario you can so that no matter what unfolds, you’ll be prepared. Credit cardholders who carry a month-to-month balance should consider transferring that costly debt to a balance transfer card. Many of these cards offer an introductory 0% APR period of up to 21 months which can help you make a sizable dent in your debt without any additional interest accruing. Select ranked the Citi Simplicity® Card and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card as some of the best 0% APR balance transfer cards. “Stagflation is recession accompanied by inflation,” Kotlikoff says.

How can you prepare for stagflation?

Stagflation is a term coined in the 1970s when there was simultaneous high inflation and economic stagnation or high unemployment, according to Jonathan Wright, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University. Instead, 80% of economists in the same survey named stagflation as the greater long-term risk to the economy, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. The next biggest risk they identified was deflation, with 13% of respondents. The misery index is the sum of the unemployment and inflation rates.

The consensus among economists is that productivity has to be increased to the point where it will lead to higher growth without additional inflation. This would then allow for the tightening of monetary policy to rein in the inflation component of stagflation. Stagflation is an economic cycle characterized by slow growth and a high unemployment rate accompanied by inflation. Economic policymakers find this combination particularly difficult to handle, as attempting to correct one of the factors can exacerbate another. The Australian economy last experienced a period of stagflation in 1975, when unemployment reached 5.3% and inflation reached an astonishing 14.4%—the current inflation rate is 7.3%. This phenomenon confounded many Australian economists, who had long correlated high inflation with a booming economy.

They’ll keep you on track whether the economy is on a roll or in the dumps. And to top it all off, the stock market is struggling and has moved into bear market territory. But the one bright spot is that unemployment is low and pretty much back to pre-pandemic levels.

Many experts feared a recession. Instead, the economy has continued to soar

The supply shock theory suggests that stagflation occurs when an economy faces a sudden increase or decrease in the supply of a commodity or service (supply shock), such as a rapid increase in the price of oil. In such a situation, prices surge, making production costlier and less profitable, thus slowing economic growth. Usually, in good economic times, low unemployment forces employers to raise wages so they can retain or attract workers, which heightens consumer demand and steepens price increases.

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If you want more tactical advice, consider overweighting defensive stocks in sectors such as consumer staples, utilities, energy and healthcare, Brochin says. Businesses in these sectors tend to have more stable earnings, which can provide some protection against stagnant economic growth and inflation. “In particular, we believe investors should favor companies with pricing power that are able to pass increased costs to consumers.” “During a period of stagflation, businesses struggle to grow due to slowing economic activity, and cannot easily reduce costs due to rising input prices,” Brochin says. This leads to layoffs and fewer job opportunities, causing unemployment to rise.

He holds FINRA Series 3 and Series 34 licenses in addition to a dual MFA in critical studies/writing and music composition from the California Institute of the Arts. Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.

She has ghostwritten financial guidebooks for industry professionals and even a personal memoir. She is passionate about improving financial literacy and believes a little education can go a long way. You can connect with her on Twitter, Instagram or her website,

Businesses are humming along, profits are up, and people have more money to spend—so consumer demand causes prices to increase. The onset of stagflation In the 1970s was blamed on the US Federal Reserve’s unsustainable economic policy during the boom years of the late 1950s and 1960s. The Fed moved to keep unemployment low and boost overall demand for products and services in the 1960s.


As such, any recommendations or statements do not take into account the financial circumstances, investment objectives, tax implications, or any specific requirements of readers. This morning the Bureau of Economic Analysis dropped GDP numbers for the third quarter and they were… 2% growth in the before times would have been pretty solid, but now it’s kind of measly compared to last quarter’s 6.7% growth. Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more – straight to your e-mail. “Stagflation, in that sense, is more impactful on portfolios than a one-off crisis.” While we wait to see how the second quarter’s GDP numbers officially shake out, we can conclude already from what we have seen in the first quarter and with today’s record-high inflation that the economy is not as strong as it once was.

Haworth says that investors have been battling two headwinds—high inflation and rising interest rates—that don’t necessarily create a clearcut path for investing. The dramatic episodes of stagflation in the 1970s may be historical footnotes today. But, since then, simultaneous economic stagnation and rising prices appear to be part of the new normal of economic downturns. The advice and information provided by ForbesAdvisor is general in nature and is not intended to replace independent financial advice.

Economist Larry Summers, a former US Treasury Secretary, argued in a March 2022 op-ed in The Washington Post that the Federal Reserve’s current policy trajectory would likely lead to stagflation and ultimately a major recession. While Australia and the US have sidestepped stagflation since the 1970s, many people are now drawing parallels between that episode and the current dynamics in the economy. Fixed-income investors can turn to shorter-duration bonds and Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS), which adjust their principal to match inflation, to minimize the impact of rising inflation. But as of July 1, the latest data shows that the Atlanta Federal Reserve is now estimating -2.1% growth, down from the 0.3% growth number Kotlikoff referenced. We can connect you with financial advisors who are committed to helping you set up a plan to invest for the future.

The financial markets suffer, too, with stocks and bonds both declining in value, said Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics. Recently, though, economists have used the term more broadly to mean a period when inflation stays much higher than the Federal Reserve’s 2% target and the economy slows or even shrinks. Even if unemployment doesn’t increase, experts warn, a prolonged period surging costs and stagnant job growth could be devastating. There were signs of possible stagflation during the early 2020s, but as economists and analysts know, it’s much simpler to define trends and eras in the rearview mirror than in real time. Severe supply constraints and labor shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic pushed inflation as high as 9%.

Such a shock occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic with a disruption of the flow of semiconductors that slowed the production of everything from laptops to cars and appliances. Government spending, business investment and exports all rose in the fourth quarter. Even the housing sector, which has been battered by mortgage rates that neared 8% in October, was not the drag on the economy that one would typically expect.