What Is Inflation, and Why Should I Care?

Jun 30, 2016

Inflation is the rate at which prices increase, as Taylor Tepper explains in this edition of Dumb Money. For example, if the inflation rate is 2%, that means that prices, on average, are rising 2% annually. The same bag of groceries that cost you $100 a year ago would run you $102 today.

The Federal Reserve uses interest rates to try and keep inflation at a moderate level, usually in the low single digits. And right now, the Fed is trying to aim for an inflation rate of 2%.

Too much inflation is really bad. Ask your parents about the late 1970s.

Deflation -- when prices, on average, drop year after year -- might sound really great. But deflation is actually very bad.

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