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IPFS News Link • Economic Theory

Investing in Guns or People?

•, By Vijay Prashad

On April 19, the International Monetary Fund released its annual World Economic Outlook, which forecasted a severe slowdown in global growth along with soaring prices.

"For 2022, inflation is projected at 5.7 percent in advanced economies and 8.7 percent in emerging market and developing economies – 1.8 and 2.8 percentage points higher than projected in … January."

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva offered a sobering reflection on the data:

"Inflation is reaching the highest levels seen in decades. Sharply higher prices for food and fertilizers put pressure on households worldwide – especially for the poorest. And we know that food crises can unleash social unrest."

What is the root cause of this extraordinary wave of inflation? U.S. President Joe Biden blamed Russia's war in Ukraine: "What people don't know is that 70 percent of the increase in inflation was the consequence of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's price hike because of the impact of oil prices."

However, even The Wall Street Journal editorial board noted that "this isn't Putin's inflation."

Georgieva of the IMF has tried to walk a middle ground, saying that "Russia's invasion of Ukraine has created a crisis on top of a crisis." Her view mirrored that of the World Economic Outlook, which pointed out that 'the crisis unfold[ed] while the global economy was on a mending path but had not yet fully recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic."