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August 10, 2020

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Inflation is a word we hear on the news almost every day, but many of us don't understand exactly what it is. The term was first used in a monetary sense to describe "an increase in the amount of money" in 1838. Today, economists argue over the exact definition of inflation but generally agree that it means a continued rise in prices while the value of money declines.

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Today's Random Fact:

Nations who were on the Gold Standard during the 19th century until 1914 experienced little or no inflationary trends.

In 1971 the U.S. under President Richard Nixon decoupled the value of the dollar from gold altogether. Now a U.S. dollar is only worth 12 cents of what it was worth in 1950.

Bonus Fact:

Hyperinflation is a situation where the price increases are so out of control that the concept of inflation is meaningless.

The post-WWII hyperinflation of Hungary holds the record for the most rapid monthly inflation increase ever: 41,900,000,000,000,000 percent for July 1946, which means prices doubled every 13.5 hours.