Daryl G. Jones
CNNMoney
March 31, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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Whether the American economy is in an inflationary or deflationary environment sounds like it should be a fundamental and settled question. But due to the unprecedented financial crisis, the answer is actually subject to intense debate among economists.

Making economic projections is far from a scientific process, so it’s not surprising to find valid arguments on both sides of the divide. The economists who are right will help investors drive returns over the next three years.

Inflation can be a positive or negative, depending on the level and duration of it in our economy. The main negative associated with inflation is a drop in purchasing power of money, and therefore, consumers. In extreme cases, consumers may actually start hoarding if they fear continued and aggressive price increases. The positive side of inflation is to decrease the real value of debt, or essentially provide debt relief.

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