Eight Major Economies See Weak Consumer Prices

Among the world's largest economies, Spain is ground zero for consumer price deflation.

In July, prices slid by 0.6% in the western European nation, and they've been lower in 23 out of the past 30 months. In Japan, consumer prices slipped by 0.4%, and Italy saw a decline of about 0.1%

The U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Eurozone did see July upticks in prices. Among these five countries, the biggest rise was 0.8%, which was registered in the U.S.

So, even in the major economies which saw higher July consumer prices, inflation was subdued.

An Aug. 25 Bloomberg column says historically aggressive monetary policies by global central banks have fallen way short of their aims:

Jacob Rothschild, the billionaire scion of arguably Europe's greatest banking dynasty says we're living through "the greatest experiment in monetary policy in the history of the world." There's a major flaw in the experiment, though: the real world isn't responding to policy in the way that the textbooks say it should. Moreover, it seems increasingly evident that the fears that led to zero interest rates and quantitative easing were at best overblown, if not entirely unjustified.

The economic quandary is easy to parse. Central banks almost everywhere have sanctioned a 2 percent inflation target as signifying financial Nirvana. But ... consumer prices in the world's major economies are rising much slower than that arbitrary ideal.

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