Recently I often hear or read the expression 'deflationary environment' as something bad for he economy. I may assume that its opposite might be something good, but what is the opposite of deflationary. Plus, what is a more appropriate way to say that a deflationary environment is 'bad' for the economy.

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    You are a strange person. Normally people know of the word "inflation" and then ask for its opposite. You, otoh, is reversed. You know of the opposite first. May 23, 2014 at 5:23
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    I am not an economist but current consensus seems to be that moderate inflation is best. So neither deflation nor (hyper)inflation nor even the complete lack of either (in aggregate) are “good”. Also note that different people stand to gain or lose in each case.
    – Gala
    May 23, 2014 at 8:24
  • This is OT, but there's definitely NOT consensus about that.
    – o0'.
    May 23, 2014 at 10:45
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    The opposite of something bad is not necessarily good. For example, the opposite of flood is drought. May 23, 2014 at 11:13

3 Answers 3


The opposite is inflationary environment, that is a context where prices increase.


A general decline in prices, often caused by a reduction in the supply of money or credit. Deflation can be caused also by a decrease in government, personal or investment spending. The opposite of inflation, deflation has the side effect of increased unemployment since there is a lower level of demand in the economy, which can lead to an economic depression. Central banks attempt to stop severe deflation, along with severe inflation, in an attempt to keep the excessive drop in prices to a minimum.

As for a better way to say that deflation is something 'bad' you may say that a deflationary environment has a negative impact on the economy in general.

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    And the reason that low-level inflation is good is that it provides stimulation to the economy by allowing profit and investment, without making prices unaffordable. Increasing the money supply uncontrolledly (by simply printing money) can lead to hyperinflation, which is not good. Goods become unaffordable, which reduces consumption and can lead to a vicious circle of printing more money in an attempt to reinflate the economy.
    – Andrew Leach
    May 23, 2014 at 6:31
  • You touched a good point, printing money and supposed hyperinflation as a consequence...US monetary policy appears to to be an exception to this rule...as of now.
    – user66974
    May 23, 2014 at 7:16
  • Depends how much you print (note uncontrolledly); the Bank of England has done something similar with so-called Quantitative Easing.
    – Andrew Leach
    May 23, 2014 at 7:54
  • 'Deflation' does not usually happen by itself. It is often the result of measures taken to contain 'inflation'. But it produces an alternative set of disadvantages. As @Andrew Leach says, the ideal and optimal conditions for economic growth, are low-inflation.
    – WS2
    May 23, 2014 at 8:18

When we talk of economy, 'deflationary measures' is the term most frequently used. It refers to measures associated with or tending to cause decrease in consumer prices or increases in the purchasing power of money.

Deflationary environment would be one which would be adapting such measures to decrease inflation.

The opposite would be inflationary environment.



of, characterized by, or tending to cause monetary inflation.

Source: Oxford Living Dictionaries: English.

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