The credit crunch is all very well – indeed, I’ve been having my very own credit crunch for most of my life it seems – but in some parts of the world things are, of course, much worse than here. According to Macrohistory, a very good history site, the news for April 9th is:
Apr 9 People around the world are rioting because of food prices or availability: in Egypt, Mexico, Haiti, Yemen, Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Guinea, Mauritania. In South Korea there is panic buying. In the Philippines, officials are raiding warehouses looking for unscrupulous traders hoarding rice. The rising price of oil has made food production more expensive. Nations are cutting back on their exports of food in order to have enough for their own people. Egypt’s reduction of rice exports is hurting Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. On April 3, world rice prices rose as much as 30 percent.
So… OK, the official inflation rate here is about 2.5%. In reality, food prices rose by 11% over the last 12 months here. Elsewhere, because of problems with wheat and rice crops this year plus increasing demand from rising populations, prices are rising much faster. And of course there’s Zimbabwe with 116,000% inflation. That is, “hyperinflation“.