stag·​fla·​tion | \ ˌstag-ˈflā-shən How to pronounce stagflation (audio) \

Definition of stagflation

: persistent inflation combined with stagnant consumer demand and relatively high unemployment

Other Words from stagflation

stagflationary \ ˌstag-​ˈflā-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce stagflation (audio) \ adjective

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Stagflation is a portmanteau, that is, a word that blends two others (in this case, "stagnation" and "inflation"). The first documented use of the word appeared in 1965 in the writing of British politician Iain Macleod, who wrote, "We now have the worst of both worlds - not just inflation on the one side or stagnation on the other, but both of them together. We have a sort of 'stagflation' situation." Macleod is often credited with coining the term, and his linguistic invention was quickly embraced by economists in the United States, who used it to refer to the period of economic sluggishness and high inflation that affected the country in the 1970s.

Examples of stagflation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Investor fears of stagflation are at the highest since the 2008 financial crisis, while global growth optimism has sunk to a record low, according to Bank of America Corp.’s monthly fund manager survey., 14 June 2022 The World Bank warned on Tuesday that global economies were at risk of stagflation, if not recession. Medora Lee, USA TODAY, 13 June 2022 Moya noted that stagflation—a phenomenon where prices soar while economic growth plummets—was becoming the base case for many investors. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 10 June 2022 On Tuesday, the World Bank slashed its annual global growth forecast to 2.9 percent, from January’s 4.1 percent, and warned that the global economy may suffer from 1970s-style stagflation, a dangerous combination of weak growth and rising prices. Aaron Gregg, Washington Post, 10 June 2022 The record increase dashed investor hopes of cooling inflation, replacing them with concerns of stagflation as central banks continue to raise interest rates in an effort to rein in inflation. CBS News, 10 June 2022 But like everything else in this edge-of-stagflation economy, even the cost of the blunt arts are getting higher and higher. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 9 June 2022 Like Biden, Carter faced a series of major crises: economic stagflation; an energy crisis that resulted in high gas prices and low supplies; the Iran hostage crisis; and a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that put the Persian Gulf region at risk. Julian Zelizer, CNN, 3 June 2022 The uncertainty surrounding the threat of stagflation, recession, and geopolitical events seems likely to keep market volatility elevated. Bill Stone, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stagflation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stagflation

1965, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stagflation

blend of stagnation and inflation

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The first known use of stagflation was in 1965

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Last Updated

17 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stagflation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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