Q:

How does inflation affect businesses?

A:

Quick Answer

Inflation, especially high inflation, increases profits as well as the cost of doing business and implies higher demand for products at higher prices and a tight employment market with rising wages. Investopedia reports that inflation, "Is not intrinsically good or bad."

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Full Answer

Inflation is present when prices are higher than they were previously. As of 2014, The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System reports that an inflation rate of 2 percent is consistent with the Federal Reserve's mandate for maximum employment and stable profitability. This small amount of inflation ensures that the economy is able to grow and that business are profitable enough to maintain and gradually expand workforces.

Inflation above 2 percent can cause an, "inflationary spiral." In this situation, prices are pushed higher by rising consumer demand. Businesses are profitable and hire aggressively to match production with demand. Tight labour markets lead to wage increases. This leads to a higher cost of living with higher rents, home values, consumer prices and prices of raw materials. This represents further increased demand for products and services, which also increases prices, further increasing company profits. These increased company profits again leads to more hiring, which continues to put inflationary pressure on wages and prices. The Business Directory describes this as, "Reinforcing feedback of a vicious circle"

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does inflation affect GDP?

    A:

    Inflation generally increases when the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate is above 2.5 percent due to several factors, such as demand for goods overstretching supply and higher wages in an ultra-competitive job market, according to Investopedia. When inflation starts to rise, consumers tend to spend more money before prices go higher.

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  • Q:

    Why is inflation both good and bad?

    A:

    Inflation at an acceptable low stable rate is good because it increases economic output and productivity while generating employment opportunities. Inflation at extremely high levels, also known as runaway inflation, is bad because essential goods and services become too expensive and unemployment increases, which destabilizes the economy.

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    Why is inflation a problem?

    A:

    Inflation can be a problem when it is unexpected or very high, which can result in economic instability and people being afraid to spend money, which hinders economic growth. Furthermore, inflation can make products and services unaffordable to those on fixed-income. It can also cause creditors to lose money and create a negative impact on a country's trade.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between revenue and profit?

    A:

    Revenue is money that a business takes in from the sale of its products and services. It is calculated by multiplying the number of units sold by the price for the item. Profit is revenue less costs associated with producing the product.

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