During Hyperinflation, How is the Public Made Aware of Lost Purchasing Power so Quickly?



During Hyperinflation, How is the Public Made Aware of Lost Purchasing Power so Quickly?

In: Economics

You buy something on Monday and when you go to buy it again on Wednesday it’s dramatically increased in price.

Generally there’s no snail mail, email or vmail notification…

The prices of things you buy regularly such as food, gas, cleaning supplies, etc go up rapidly. You can literally buy something on Monday and buy it again a few days later and it be more expensive.

Most people are well aware of the prices they pay for frequently bought items: Bread, a pound of hamburger, a gallon of milk, gas prices, etc. These frequently bought items are also the ones that tend to go up the most quickly during an inflationary period because these are things people need. If the price of a Fender Standard Electric Guitar goes up by 30% in a six month period and I’ve had my eye on one, I’d likely decide I don’t need it. (Supply and demand, keeps the price from raising too quickly). But I can’t decide that I don’t need a gallon of gas or a loaf of bread if I’m trying to get to and from work and if I have a family to feed. I’m going to buy those things, no matter the price. But I will notice them. Not only that, but if my whole grocery bill increases by 10% over a few months and if my gas increases similarly and the same with other items I purchase, then I’m going to have to economize somewhere. My budget won’t allow me to continue to buy everything I’ve been buying.

There’s no real way for the general public to pickup on these types of things. There are indices that many analysts, and even just financially savvy people use (yield curve and individual bond prices come to mind). However, if you’re looking anecdotally or trying to spot the start of hyper inflation, you can track standard costs and bills in your own life. Remember all costs get passed to the consumer (you and me) so if your gas bill is suddenly x2 higher, well that may be the start.

There are better products/indexes to watch and certain items like gold tend to rise when a market declines. You could certainly google some things like that. For example: “what products inflate the most during periods of hyper inflation”. I believe gas is pretty volatile in that respect.

If you’re in a country that backs their own currency (USA or Canada for example), you probably don’t have to worry about hyper inflation though.

Sorry if that’s too rambling, I’m in a brain fog today.

If it comes out of the blue, then you’ll notice it when suddenly lots of products are constantly out of stock. That’s a major sign of sudden inflation, *or* a general drop in productivity, or both.

That’s how we realize that money is currently overvalued – there is more money than there is things to buy with that money.

Hyperinflation in the US is defined as 50% inflation rate, which has never happened in American history. We would probably all be made aware pretty quickly if that happened, given that $1 would be inflated to $18 in one year. Plus, the Republican party is already squawking over a single month of 4% (compared to last year when inflation was lower than expected), they would be sure to scream from every orifice they have about how Biden killed America.

Everyone here is just saying “you know because people update prices accordingly” but you have to realize those prices don’t materialize out of no-where. The question then becomes, how do retailers keep up to date in order to provide those prices.