As I travel throughout the world, I pay very close attention to price levels. I don’t believe a word of it when monetary authorities play down inflation concerns or tell me that rising prices are “transitory”. My boots on the ground observations tell me otherwise.
It’s sort of like the growth of a child– parents who see their kids all the time don’t notice day to day changes, but the distant auntie who visits every few years immediately remarks “Look at how big you’ve gotten!”
Prices are the same way. We might not notice subtle weekly changes in the grocery store prices, but when you spend a few months or years away, the differences are like a splash of cold water in your face.
Uruguay is a great example. I lived here for a short time a few years ago, but I haven’t been back since December 2008. That’s a long enough time to notice even the smallest change… and while I’m pleasantly surprised at the country’s improvements, the growth in prices has been astonishing.