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WASHINGTON — Since the Great Recession ended 4½ years ago, Americans have struggled with high unemployment, static pay, and a slow economy. Yet they’ve had one thing in their favor: low inflation.
Well, hold the applause.
It might be unfathomable to people who still bear scars from the double-digit inflation of the 1970s, but what the global economy could use right now is a dose of higher prices.
Overall prices are barely budging because the economy is still weak. And the reverse may be true, too: Super-low inflation has probably slowed growth from the United States to Japan to Europe. It’s why the world’s central banks would like prices to rise.
Most people are not likely to work up much anxiety about low inflation. After all, the benefits can be great. Cellphone service has gotten cheaper. Breakfast cereal prices have dropped the past two years. So has the cost of bedroom furniture. Television prices have plummeted 29 percent since 2012.