What does hyperinflation feel like?

Price appreciation experienced during a 41 minute grocery shopping trip

John Paul Koning
Financial Graph & Art www.financialgraphart.com

November 2012

The chart below takes the peak monthly inflation rate experienced in various hyperinflations and converts it into an equivalent rate experienced over a hypothetical shopping trip in the US. Americans spend on average 41 minutes shopping for groceries. The chart below illustrates how fast a $10 steak would appreciate between adding it to one’s cart and checking out 41 minutes later using peak rates from seven hyperinflations. Price appreciation of a $10 steak

Hungary

Pengo hyperinflation lasts from August 1945 to July 1946

$10.30

$10.20

Zimbabwe Z-dollar hyperinflates from March 2007 to November 2008 Yugoslavia Dinar hyperinflation lasts from April 1992 to January 1994

$10.10

$10.00
41 minutes The average time Americans spend shopping in a grocery store (The Time Use Institute)

Wiemar Russia Argentina Brazil

Mark hyperinflates from August 1922 to December 1923 Ruble at hyperinflation levels in January 1992 Austral hyperinflation lasts from May 1989 to March 1990 Cruzado hyperinflates from December 1989 to March 1990

Sources: the Hanke-Krus Hyperinflation Table, the Time Use Institute Notes: Hanke-Kraus define hyperinflation as a price level increase of at least 50% per month

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