Economies are now so heavy with savings and state cash that rising prices cannot be ruled out. But will it happen?
The spectre of inflation had investors on the run last week. With no handbook to guide them on how economies behave in a pandemic, markets are struggling to predict whether a post-Covid recovery will be so strong as to bring with it a tidal wave of spending that sends prices spiralling.
Investors are spooked because rising inflation, which threatens investment and consumer spending, would need to be tamed by a rise in currently rock-bottom interest rates – and that would be anathema to markets and a corporate sector that have grown used to cheap money.