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The post-inflation economy that could be

Raghuram G Rajan
Raghuram G Rajan8/11/2022 03:26 PM GMT+08  • 6 min read
The post-inflation economy that could be
The post-pandemic, post-inflation economic outlook is not all doom and gloom / Photo: Bloomberg
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Economic commentaries nowadays are typically about inflation or recession, so let’s instead consider the growth prospects once central banks get those challenges under control.

As matters stand, there appear to be worrisome headwinds to growth. As most advanced-economy populations age, their labour-force growth is slowing, so there will need to be greater productivity per worker to compensate. But with investment in physical capital muted, labour productivity is unlikely to grow rapidly without significant innovation, either in work processes or products. While it initially appeared that increased telecommuting during the pandemic would enhance productivity (by saving time and avoiding the duplication of capital at home and in the office), many firms are rediscovering the value of having workers in the office at least for some of the time.

Another headwind comes from poorer countries, where lower-middle-class households have suffered tremendously through the pandemic and now from food- and fuel-price inflation. Many children have missed more than two years of school and are likely to drop out, permanently impairing their earning potential and the skill-base of the labour force more broadly.

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