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Inflation takes place when an economy grows due to increased spending. When this happens, prices rise and the currency within the economy is worth less than it was before; basically the currency won’t buy as much as it would before. When a currency is worth less, its exchange rate weakens when compared to other currencies.

There are many methods used to control inflation, some work well, while some may have having damaging consequences such as a recession. For example, controlling inflation through wage and price controls can cause a recession and hurt the people whose jobs are lost because of it.

One popular method of controlling inflation is through a contractionary monetary policy. The goal of a contractionary policy is to reduce the money supply within an economy by decreasing bond prices and increasing interest rates. This helps reduce spending because when there is less money to go around, those who have money want to keep it and save it, instead of spending it. It also means that there is less available credit, which can also reduces spending. Reducing spending is important during inflation, because it helps halt economic growth and, in turn, the rate of inflation.

There are three main ways to carry out a contractionary policy. The first is to increase interest rates through the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve rate is the rate at which banks borrow money from the government, but, in order to make money, they must lend it at higher rates. So, when the Federal Reserve increases its interest rate, banks have no choice but to increase their rates as well. When banks increase their rates, less people want to borrow money because it costs more to do so while that money accrues at a higher interest. So, spending drops, prices drop and inflation slows.

The second method is to increase reserve requirements on the amount of money banks are legally required to keep on hand to cover withdrawals. The more money banks are required to hold back, the less they have to lend to consumers. If they have less to lend, consumers will borrow less, which will decrease spending.

The third method is to directly or indirectly reduce the money supply by enacting policies that encourage reduction of the money supply. Two examples of this include calling in debts that are owed to the government and increasing the interest paid on bonds so that more investors will buy them. The latter policy raises the exchange rate of the currency due to higher demand and, in turn, increases imports and decreases exports. Both of these policies will reduce the amount of money in circulation because the money will be going from banks, companies and investors pockets and into the government’s pocket where they can control what happens to it.

 
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