What is stagflation? Here’s why it matters and what you should know.

Inflation and weakening growth could trap the global economy in a years-long slump, economists warn

Cars line up in two directions at a gas station in New York City in 1973. (Marty Lederhandler/AP)
8 min

The global economy could be heading for slow growth, rising prices and high unemployment, economists are warning, a toxic brew that could hamper countries’ recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Bank on Tuesday warned that those forces, called “stagflation,” could induce years’ worth of struggles. And persistent challenges — such as supply chain snags, Russia’s attack on Ukraine and continuing waves of covid-19 cases — could harm consumers and employers alike, settling world markets into a downturn that they largely avoided when the pandemic first struck.

Summer road trip? Our gas calculator can help you estimate your costs.

Here’s what you need to know about stagflation and the risk it presents to the global economy: