As Investors Flee Emerging Markets, Inflation Hits the Poorest, Hardest

via NYT:

KADI, India — Vikram Singh is accustomed to life under the tyranny of elements he cannot control, from rains that do not fall to insects that tear at his crops. Lately one unchanging trouble is plaguing his family — rising prices.

“Everything has gone up,” Mr. Singh said on a recent afternoon, as his family members plucked a meager cotton harvest on their one-acre patch of earth in the Indian state of Gujarat. He rattled off the items that cost more: the lentils that are a staple of his family’s diet; the cotton-oil cakes they feed to their dairy cows. Fertilizer. Diesel fuel for their tractor. Clothing, and school fees for the four children.

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Across this nation of more than 1.3 billion people, as in many of the world’s developing countries, versions of such tribulations are diminishing fortunes.

The strain of higher prices reflects a global change in sentiment as the United States Federal Reserve — known, not for nothing, as the central bank for the world — steadily lifts interest rates, as it did on Wednesday. Investors have been pulling money out of riskier, developing countries and entrusting it to safer, more established economies like the United States. That has sent the value of currencies plunging from Argentina to Turkey to India, making basic goods more expensive for households and businesses, while amplifying debts.

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“Farmers are losing money,” Mr. Singh said. “We just survive. We are earning less and spending more.”



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