inflationary spiral

  

Definition

Self-sustaining upward trend in general price levels fueled by the reinforcing feedback of a vicious circle. Wage price spiral is a typical example of an inflationary spiral: high cost of living prompts demands for higher wages which push production costs up forcing firms to increases prices, which in turn trigger calls for fresh wage increases ... and so on. Such situations continue until radical measures (such as incomes policy) are instituted to break the cycle, otherwise the currency is rendered almost worthless as a medium of exchange (as it happened in Germany in the 1920s, in Brazil in the 1980s, and in Argentina in the 1990s) and has to be replaced with new monetary units (currency).

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