Interesting Inflation News Links (February 17, 2009)

* Spectre of deflation stalking the economy (Times Online)

Anxieties rose on Tuesday that deepening recession could push the economy into the grip of deflation after a key gauge of price pressures showed inflation tumbling to its lowest since 1960.

* Slump Hurts Russian Leaders’ Ratings (Andrew Osborn, Wall Street Journal)

MOSCOW — The Russian government warned that the recession will be deeper this year than expected amid the first signs that the widening crisis is beginning to cut into the once-bulletproof popularity of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev.

* FTSE sell-off gathers pace (Guardian Unlimited)

Investors seemed to have reacted badly to today’s inflation figures , which showed RPI inflation perilously close to negative territory.

* Inflation to fall to lowest in nearly 50 years (Telegraph)

Experts predict that Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation, which includes housing and mortgage related costs, may fall into negative territory for the first time in nearly 49 years, further stoking fears over deflation.

* Oak Tree mortgage fraud convictions grow (Richard Mize, Daily Oklahoman)

EDMOND Another person involved in real estate and mortgage fraud in Edmonds upscale Oak Tree neighborhood five years ago has been sentenced to federal prison.

* Fed’s Bullard warns of deflation (Jeannine Aversa-)

WASHINGTON — With the economy spinning deeper into recession, the country might suffer a dangerous bout of falling prices, or deflation, a Federal Reserve official warned Tuesday.

* Rate of inflation drops to 3% (Mirror)

The UK’s annual rate of inflation dropped to its lowest level since April last year in January thanks to fuel prices falling at the fastest pace on record, official figures showed.

* UK inflation falls to lowest in almost 50 years (Angela Monaghan, Telegraph)

Retail price inflation – a measure of the cost of living on which most wage settlements in Britain are based – fell 1.3pc in January compared with December. That drove the annual increase to just 0.1pc – the lowest since March 1960.

* Inflation rate falls (The Scotsman)

The key Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation dropped to 3% from 3.1% in December, with falling car and transport prices also acting as a drag, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

* Dollar gains on recession worries (Reuters America)

LONDON (Reuters) — The dollar and yen rose broadly on Monday with recession worries coming to the fore after figures showing Japan’s economy shank sharply in the final quarter of 2008.

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