Double-digit inflation rates are a thing of the past | Larry Elliott

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But news from the US means markets are likely to remain twitchy at the prospect of interest rate hikes

Flared jeans. Fawlty Towers. Abba churning out No 1 singles. It has been a long time, but the explanation for the severe bout of jitters on global stock markets this week comes down to a word on everybody’s lips in the mid-1970s: inflation.

The pre-occupation of prime ministers from Harold Wilson to Margaret Thatcher and of US presidents from Gerald Ford to Ronald Reagan, up until recently inflation was considered yesterday’s problem. News this week has forced investors to rethink that comforting assumption.

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