Articles on Vital signs

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Newly-elected US Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is co-author of the New Green Deal which proposes massively expanding the budget deficit as a way of supporting both the environment and the economy. Alba Vigaray/EPA

Vital Signs. Do deficits matter any more?

There are limits on how much governments can spend without earning, although increasingly politicians are behaving as if there are not.
Officially, our inflation rate is lower than at any time since the 1950s, but we’ve reasons for doubting it. Shutterstock

Vital Signs: Why we distrust the consumer price index

Hardly anyone believes that prices are really increasing by only 1.9% per year. The fault lies with us, and also the way the Bureau of Statistics adjusts prices for 'quality'.
Whether there is a floor beneath which cuts in interest rate are ineffective depends in part on house prices. Shutterstock

Vital Signs: when cutting interest rates might not help

It is thought that it doesn't help much to cut official interest rates toward or beyond zero, and maybe it doesn't, but new research suggests the answer has a lot to do with the housing market.

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