What are the countries with the highest inflation rates in the world? Inflation is one of the indicators of a country’s economic state, representing a percentage change in the general level of prices for goods and services paid by consumers (for consumer price index) and producers (for producer price index). A higher inflation rate means lower purchasing power. In normal conditions, the average inflation rate should not exceed 2% per year. Usually, the most economically and politically unstable countries are prone to higher inflation rates, and are among the top countries by the inflation rate.
Investors can try to protect themselves against higher inflation rates by investing in inflation protected vehicles. The most popular inflation protected ETFs among investors are iShares TIPS Bond ETF (NYSE:TIP), Schwab U.S. TIPS ETF (NYSE:SCHP), Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index Fund ETF Shares (NASDAQ:VTIP), and iShares 0-5 Year TIPS Bond ETF (NYSE:STIP). The problem with inflation protected bonds is that the yield is still tiny due to historically aggressive loose monetary policies all over the world. As a result of this yield investors have flocked into stable dividend stocks in recent years. Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Fund ETF Shares (NYSE:VIG) returned more than 22% this year. Unfortunately, most dividend stocks are way overpriced now compared to historical averages as a result of this. We believe both bonds and dividend stocks are extremely risky investments right now. Investing in the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds is a better idea.
Insider Monkey focuses on corporate insiders and hedge funds to identify attractive investments. Our flagship strategy focuses on the best stock picks of the top 100 hedge funds (out of nearly 1000 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey) and has been able to outperform the market by around 40 percentage points since its inception in May 2014. By tracking the best performing hedge funds we’re still able to identify extremely attractive priced stocks in today's environment. Check out our latest idea, a growth stock trading at less than 3 times its core earnings. We are so confident about this stock that we will pay you $100 if it fails to return 20% within a year.
[caption id="attachment_768650" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Pixabay/Public Domain[/caption]
At the moment the consensus view among Central bankers is that inflation isn't a problem for most of the world. However, history tells us to expect the unexpected. Some of the cases of the highest inflation rate ever, or the worst hyperinflation in the world were recorded in Hungary during 1945-1946, with a monthly rate of 4.19 x 1016%, Zimbabwe in 2007-2008, with a monthly inflation rate of 7.96 x 1010%, and (former) Yugoslavia during the period 1992-1994 with a monthly inflation rate of 313,000,000%. Hyperinflation is considered to occur when monthly inflation exceeds 50% (or 12,875% per year). In today’s economy, the worst example of hyperinflation is Venezuela, which was among the top countries with the highest inflation in 2018. The data on the precise percentage differ, with Forbes reporting a rate of 80,000% per year in 2018, and CNN Business announcing a figure of 130,060% for 2018.
On the other side of the spectrum - countries with the lowest inflation rate in the world in 2018 were Burundi (with the lowest rate of –8.4% in October 2018) and Ecuador (around -1% in April 2018). However, these scenarios do not show good economic situation either, since they are indicators of deflation. During the deflation, prices drop, and money flow slows down rapidly, which reflects negatively on the economy.
We have gathered and compared the information on the highest inflation rate in the world in 2019 from several sources. These were International Monetary Fund, Inflation, Trading Economics, and decided to represent the most recent data ranging from March to July 2019.
We have done similar research on Countries with the Highest Inflation Rates in the World several years ago, but, of course, things have changed since then. So, let’s see what the situation looks like now. The countries with the highest inflation in 2019 are:
Inflation rate of 16.65% (July 2019)
Inflation in Turkey was steadily dropping down since the beginning of 2019, but it started rising again in July, with a forecast to grow even more to the end of the year. However, the situation is much better than in October 2018, when it reached 25.24%.
[caption id="attachment_575416" align="aligncenter" width="750"] lOvE lOvE/Shutterstock.com[/caption]
Inflation rate of 17.24% (July 2019)
Even though the inflation rate in Angola is currently among the highest in the world, it seems that the situation is better than the last year, when its inflation rate reached 19.21% in September.
[caption id="attachment_768651" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Pixabay/Public Domain[/caption]
10. Sierra Leone
Inflation rate of 17.46% (March 2019)
With the unemployment above 70%, it is not a surprise that Sierra Leone has a troubling economy. The situation seems to be slightly better when the inflation peak was around 19%, and the projections are that it will decline a bit until the end of the year.
[caption id="attachment_768652" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Pixabay/Public Domain[/caption]
Inflation rate of 18.60% (June 2019)
Inflation in Haiti seems to be steadily growing. Compared to the same period last year, the inflation rate was 13.6%. With such an increase, Haiti is on a good way to climb the top of countries with the highest inflation rates in the world.
[caption id="attachment_350428" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Michelle D. Milliman/Shutterstock.com[/caption]
Inflation rate of 23.30% (April 2019)
Inflation in Liberia has been fluctuating lately, with the highest peak of 28.5% in December 2018.
[caption id="attachment_768653" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Pixabay/Public Domain[/caption]
Inflation rate of 47.80% (June 2019)
Compared to the previous year, with the inflation peak of 72.94% in December, the economic situation in Sudan seems to be slightly better. However, with the inflation rate just below the hyperinflation limit, Sudan is among the top countries with the highest inflation in the world.
[caption id="attachment_573753" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Christopher Morley-Pegge/Shutterstock.com[/caption]
Inflation rate of 48.00% (July 2019)
Inflation rate in Iran has almost doubled since August 2018, with the highest peak in May this year, when it reached 52%.
[caption id="attachment_563965" align="aligncenter" width="750"] bleakstar/Shutterstock.com[/caption]
Inflation rate of 54.40% (July 2019)
Even though inflation rates in Argentina are slowly going down, this year was devastating for the country’s economy. With the highest peak of 57.3% in May this year, the inflation rates have doubled compared to the last year’s rates.
[caption id="attachment_346839" align="aligncenter" width="600"] maxicam/Shutterstock.com[/caption]
4. North Korea
Inflation rate of 55.00% (July 2019)
Even though the North Korean economy struggles within hyperinflation, inflation rates in the country have been steadily dropping down, compared to March 218 when inflation was at 140%. North Korean all-time high rate of 4376% was recorded in August 2010.
[caption id="attachment_404591" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Pakhnyushchy/Shutterstock.com[/caption]
3. South Sudan
Inflation rate of 56.66% (March 2019)
The beginning of this year brought a slight relief for South Sudan's economy, dropping from 72.94% in December to 43.45% in January this year. Of course, the overall living conditions in the country are far from good.
[caption id="attachment_384676" align="aligncenter" width="750"] punghi / Shutterstock.com[/caption]
Inflation rate of 175.66% (June 2019)
Inflation in Zimbabwe was near perfect in July last year, being 4.29%. Since October, it has exponentially been increasing, reaching alarming 175.66% in June. One of the main reasons for this is that Zimbabwe had been struggling with its currency. The country has switched to the US dollar in 2015, returning to the local currency in June 2019, which followed the high leap in inflation growth.
[caption id="attachment_566250" align="aligncenter" width="750"] CECIL BO DZWOWA/Shutterstock.com[/caption]
Inflation rate of 282,972.80% (April 2019)
Venezuela remains on the top when it comes to the countries with the highest inflation rates in the world. Even though the rates are slightly decreasing (with a top high of 815,194% in May this year), the economic situation is far from good. The main issues lie in oil export drops, which lowered to $30 billion from $85 billion in the period between 2013 and 2019.
[caption id="attachment_439184" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Kenishirotie/shutterstock.com[/caption]