Inflation in the U.S. hit a forty-year high of 7% in 2021. Most people blame that on the pandemic, but it’s much deeper than that. Inflation goes up or down based on supply and demand. In the U.S., demand is high, particularly for imported electronics and automobiles. The international supply chain is where the greatest impact is being felt right now.
Another issue in the U.S. is credit card debt. The average American household carries over $6,000 in credit card debt. Is inflation good for debt? Not if you’re the person in debt. Credit card interest rates are variable and go up when the Federal Reserve tries to control inflation. They do that by raising the federal funds rate that banks use to borrow from each other.
There are other countries that rely heavily on domestic goods and less on imports. These nations have lower inflation rates if you’re considering a move when travel restrictions loosen up. Their national debt is also lower, which is no surprise since the US is #1 in the world in that category. Here’s our Top Five list if you’re planning on moving away this year:
Switzerland had a negative inflation rate of -.73% in 2020. Its pastoral landscapes are stunning, and the skiing is considered by many to be the best in the world. Financially, the land of chocolate and cuckoo clocks has a successful economy and a universal healthcare system. Language won’t be a problem either. English is widely spoken throughout the country.
2. New Zealand
Perhaps the one place on earth that’s more beautiful than Switzerland is New Zealand. Inflation was higher than normal in 2021, but usually averages roughly 2% per year. The unemployment rate is just 3.4% and it is considered the sixth most liberal country in the world. The agricultural industry drives the economy, with exports exceeding imports.
Qatar had the lowest inflation rate (-2.72%) in the world in 2020. This oil-rich Middle Eastern nation is one of the top destinations for expats because of its high quality of living, excellent healthcare, and high-paying job market. The country is modern, progressive, and welcoming to foreigners who don’t disrespect their traditional Muslim customs.
The inflation rate in the island nation of Grenada has been below 1% since 2016. It’s projected at 0.6% for 2022 with estimated GDP growth of 6.2%. The crime rate is low, the cost of living is cheaper than in most other Caribbean nations, and the weather is outstanding. The economy relies heavily on tourism and jobs are scarce for foreigners, so this is a retirement destination.
Cyprus is the right choice for you if you like warm weather but prefer the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. In 2020, they had the eleventh lowest inflation rate (-1.1%) in the world and a projected inflation rate of just 1.05% this year. Cyprus is also considered the safest country in the EU and has numerous job opportunities in finance and technology.