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October 26, 2022 Reading Time: 4 minutes

Last week, reporters questioned President Biden on the state of the US economy at a Baskin-Robbins in Portland, Oregon. After indicating little worry about the strength of the US dollar, the President added: “Inflation is worldwide. It is worse off everywhere else that isn’t the United States.” It goes without saying, or should, that the President is not responsible for monetary policy, though there are indications that he would like to be, selectively. Additionally, the President is not likely to be briefed on global annualized rates of inflation. 

But such a sweeping, confident assertion as this requires verification. In light of the Biden administration’s credible intellectual commitment to combating disinformation, its officials would undoubtedly agree that every American has a duty to wrest truth from the jaws of mendacity. In that spirit, below are the most recent year-over-year inflation rates of several political and geographic national groupings. In each, US CPI has been added at its appropriately ranked position. 

G-10Inf (% yoy)
Sweden CPI YoY 1980=10010.84
UK CPI EU Harmonized YoY NSA10.10
Eurostat Eurozone MUICP All It10.00
Denmark CPI YoY10.00
US CPI Urban Consumers YoY NSA8.20
New Zealand CPI All Groups YoY7.23
Norway CPI YoY6.89
STCA Canada CPI YoY NSA 2002=16.86
Australia CPI All Groups Goods6.10
Switzerland CPI All Items YoY3.30
Japan CPI Nationwide YoY3.00
Eurozone
Lithuania CPI YoY24.10
Estonia CPI YoY23.68
Latvia CPI YoY22.20
Netherlands CPI YoY14.50
Eurostat Slovakia HICP All Ite13.60
Belgium CPI YoY NSA 2013=10011.27
Eurostat Slovenia HICP All Ite10.60
Austria CPI All Items YoY10.50
Eurostat Eurozone MUICP All It10.00
Germany CPI All Items YoY10.00
Portugal CPI YoY9.28
Italy CPI NIC All Items YoY NS8.90
Spain CPI YoY8.90
Eurostat Luxembourg HICP All I8.80
Cyprus CPI YoY8.74
US CPI Urban Consumers YoY NSA8.20
Finland CPI All Items YoY8.12
Eurostat Malta HICP All Items7.40
France CPI 2015=100 YoY5.55
EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa)
Turkey CPI YOY %83.45
Ukraine CPI YoY24.60
Hungary CPI Yearly20.10
Bulgaria CPI YoY18.70
Czech Republic CPI Nominal Chn18.00
Poland CPI All Items YoY17.20
Romania CPI YoY15.88
Russia CPI YoY13.68
Croatia CPI YoY12.80
Iceland CPI YoY9.30
US CPI Urban Consumers YoY NSA8.20
South Africa CPI YoY7.50
Israel CPI YoY NSA4.59
Asia
Pakistan CPI 2015-16=100 YoY23.18
US CPI Urban Consumers YoY NSA8.20
Singapore CPI All Items YoY7.50
Philippines CPI All items YoY%6.90
Thailand CPI All Items YoY6.41
Indonesia CPI YoY5.95
India CPI Industrial Workers Y5.85
South Korea CPI YoY5.60
Malaysia CPI YoY 2010=1004.48
Hong Kong CPI Composite All It4.40
Vietnam CPI All Groups Components3.94
China CPI YoY2.80
Taiwan CPI YoY NSA2.75
Latin America
Venezuela National CPI YoY%114.13
Argentina National CPI YoY83.00
Chile CPI YoY NSA13.73
Colombia CPI YoY11.44
Mexico CPI YoY8.70
Lima CPI YoY8.53
US CPI Urban Consumers YoY NSA8.20
Brazil CPI IPCA YoY7.17
Middle East
Lebanese Monthly Consumer Price162.47
Yemen Monthly Consumer Price I9.49
Iran CPI General Index YoY9.40
US CPI Urban Consumers YoY NSA8.20
IMF Iraq Inflation Average Con6.04
Qatar Consumer Price Index Gen6.03
Jordan Monthly Consumer Price5.39
Israel CPI YoY NSA4.59
IMF Syria Inflation Avg Consum4.40
Kuwait Consumer Price Index Yo4.15
Bahrain Consumer Price Index Y4.00
Saudi Arabia Cost of Living Ge3.07
United Arab Emirates Consumer2.50
Oman Consumer Price Index YoY2.36
North Africa
Egypt Monthly Consumer Price I15.00
Algiers Consumer Price Index Y9.84
Morocco Consumer Price Index Y8.30
US CPI Urban Consumers YoY NSA8.20
IMF Tunisia Inflation Avg Cons5.71
IMF Libya Inflation Average Co2.77
BRICS
Russia CPI YoY13.68
US CPI Urban Consumers YoY NSA8.20
South Africa CPI YoY7.50
Brazil CPI IPCA YoY7.17
India CPI Industrial Workers Y5.85
China CPI YoY2.80
(Source: Bloomberg Finance, LP)

As shown, in no region is United States year-over-year inflation, as measured by the headline Consumer Price Index (CPI), the lowest. In Latin America, the Eurozone, and the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) categories, US CPI (yoy) is near the bottom of the rankings. In Asia and the Middle East, the US is near the top of the rankings. Among Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRICS), North African nations and the G-10, annualized inflation in the US is roughly in the middle of the rankings. 

Below the countries are combined and ordered from highest to lowest by annualized rates of inflation. 

RankCountryInf (% yoy)
1Lebanese Monthly Consumer Price162.47
2Venezuela National CPI YoY%114.13
3Turkey CPI YOY %83.45
4Argentina National CPI YoY83.00
5Ukraine CPI YoY24.60
6Lithuania CPI YoY24.10
7Estonia CPI YoY23.68
8Pakistan CPI 2015-16=100 YoY23.18
9Latvia CPI YoY22.20
10Hungary CPI Yearly20.10
11Bulgaria CPI YoY18.70
12Czech Republic CPI Nominal Chn18.00
13Poland CPI All Items YoY17.20
14Romania CPI YoY15.88
15Egypt Monthly Consumer Price I15.00
16Netherlands CPI YoY14.50
17Chile CPI YoY NSA13.73
18Russia CPI YoY13.68
19Eurostat Slovakia HICP All Ite13.60
20Croatia CPI YoY12.80
21Colombia CPI YoY11.44
22Belgium CPI YoY NSA 2013=10011.27
23Sweden CPI YoY 1980=10010.84
24Eurostat Slovenia HICP All Ite10.60
25Austria CPI All Items YoY10.50
26UK CPI EU Harmonized YoY NSA10.10
27Eurostat Eurozone MUICP All It10.00
28Denmark CPI YoY10.00
29Germany CPI All Items YoY10.00
30Algiers Consumer Price Index Y9.84
31Yemen Monthly Consumer Price I9.49
32Iran CPI General Index YoY9.40
33Iceland CPI YoY9.30
34Portugal CPI YoY9.28
35Italy CPI NIC All Items YoY NS8.90
36Spain CPI YoY8.90
37Eurostat Luxembourg HICP All I8.80
38Cyprus CPI YoY8.74
39Mexico CPI YoY8.70
40Lima CPI YoY8.53
41Morocco Consumer Price Index Y8.30
42US CPI Urban Consumers YoY NSA8.20
43Finland CPI All Items YoY8.12
44South Africa CPI YoY7.50
45Singapore CPI All Items YoY7.50
46Eurostat Malta HICP All Items7.40
47New Zealand CPI All Groups YoY7.23
48Brazil CPI IPCA YoY7.17
49Philippines CPI All items YoY%6.90
50Norway CPI YoY6.89
51STCA Canada CPI YoY NSA 2002=16.86
52Thailand CPI All Items YoY6.41
53Australia CPI All Groups Goods6.10
54IMF Iraq Inflation Average Con6.04
55Qatar Consumer Price Index Gen6.03
56Indonesia CPI YoY5.95
57India CPI Industrial Workers Y5.85
58IMF Tunisia Inflation Avg Cons5.71
59South Korea CPI YoY5.60
60France CPI 2015=100 YoY5.55
61Jordan Monthly Consumer Price5.39
62Israel CPI YoY NSA4.59
63Malaysia CPI YoY 2010=1004.48
64Hong Kong CPI Composite All It4.40
65IMF Syria Inflation Avg Consum4.40
66Kuwait Consumer Price Index Yo4.15
67Bahrain Consumer Price Index Y4.00
68Vietnam CPI All Groups Compone3.94
69Switzerland CPI All Items YoY3.30
70Saudi Arabia Cost of Living3.07
71Japan CPI Nationwide YoY3.00
72China CPI YoY2.80
73IMF Libya Inflation Average Co2.77
74Taiwan CPI YoY NSA2.75
75United Arab Emirates Consumer2.50
76Oman Consumer Price Index YoY2.36
(Source: Bloomberg Finance, LP)

(Some allowance must be made for the standard inaccuracies which arise with any form of economic measurement. Some of these disclosures may be manipulated, if not completely fabricated.)

But assuming that most of these readings are accurate, there are roughly three dozen nations with lower year-over-year rates of inflation than the United States. Of the 75 listed here, 34 (nearly half) are experiencing lower rates of inflation than the US. Contra Mr. Biden’s assertion, many nations are currently experiencing annualized inflation at lower levels than the United States. Among them are Canada, Australia, France, South Korea, Finland, and South Africa. Ten nations, in fact, have annualized rates of inflation of half or less of what the United States is currently experiencing.

If we remove the economies which are arguably in hyperinflationary states (Lebanon, Venezuela, Turkey, and Argentina), the average year-over-year inflation among the remaining 72 nations is 9.4 percent. It’s only a few months back that headline inflation in the United States was a fraction below that: 9.1 percent in June 2022. 

Slipshod comments of the sort made by the President may not have any immediate impact other than eroding the credibility of the office from whence they emanate. But an administration which was evidently so troubled by “misinformation” would more profitably target it not by establishing a ministry, but by looking in a mirror.

Peter C. Earle

Peter C. Earle

Peter C. Earle is an economist who joined AIER in 2018. Prior to that he spent over 20 years as a trader and analyst at a number of securities firms and hedge funds in the New York metropolitan area. His research focuses on financial markets, monetary policy, and problems in economic measurement. He has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters, CNBC, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, NPR, and in numerous other media outlets and publications. Pete holds an MA in Applied Economics from American University, an MBA (Finance), and a BS in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Selected Publications

“General Institutional Considerations of Blockchain and Emerging Applications” Co-Authored with David M. Waugh in The Emerald Handbook on Cryptoassets: Investment Opportunities and Challenges (forthcoming), edited by Baker, Benedetti, Nikbakht, and Smith (2022)

“Operation Warp Speed” Co-authored with Edwar Escalante in Pandemics and Liberty, edited by Raymond J. March and Ryan M. Yonk (2022)

“A Virtual Weimar: Hyperinflation in Diablo III” in The Invisible Hand in Virtual Worlds: The Economic Order of Video Games, edited by Matthew McCaffrey (2021)

“The Fickle Science of Lockdowns” Co-authored with Phillip W. Magness, Wall Street Journal (December 2021)

“How Does a Well-Functioning Gold Standard Function?” Co-authored with William J. Luther, SSRN (November 2021)

“Populist Prophets, Public Prophets: Pied Pipers of Lucre, Then and Now” in Financial History (Summer 2021)

“Boston’s Forgotten Lockdowns” in The American Conservative (November 2020)

“Private Governance and Rules for a Flat World” in Creighton Journal of Interdisciplinary Leadership (June 2019)

“’Federal Jobs Guarantee’ Idea Is Costly, Misguided, And Increasingly Popular With Democrats” in Investor’s Business Daily (December 2018)

Books by Peter C. Earle

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