Can America Control Inflation?
The potential trade war between the United States and China might result in out-of-control inflation. On April 4, China announced tariffs on 100 American goods, including soybeans and Boeing aircraft. Two days later, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell tried to calm markets by saying “it’s too early to say” whether a trade war with China will affect monetary policy. But he cautioned that increasing tariffs could raise inflation rates.
“Tariffs can push up on prices,” Powell said on April 6. “But it’s too early to say whether that’s going to be something that happens.”
Economists won’t know how much Chinese tariffs will affect the price of goods in America until they go into effect. But tariffs on American goods will reduce American exports, and American tariffs on Chinese goods will make Chinese imports more expensive. This means that products on the shelves in the U.S. will likely become more expensive.
“Over the past two decades, China has, for the most part, exerted a giant deflationary force on prices in the U.S. and elsewhere,” Richard Barley wrote for the Wall Street Journal. “It is one reason why a shopping cart of clothes, for instance, costs less for U.S. consumers than 20 years ago.”
U.S. import inflation rose from 1.2 percent last July to 3.5 percent last February, making it more expensive to buy goods produced in other countries. Tit-for-tat tariffs between the U.S. and China may well exacerbate this trend. Regardless of what happens in the months ahead, the Bible foretells of a time when economic problems such as inflation and trade war will make it almost impossible for people to buy staples, such as food.
The Prophet Ezekiel describes a siege against the end-time nations of Israel. “And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it. Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink. And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. And the Lord said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them” (Ezekiel 4:10-13).
This passage describes an economic siege against the house of Israel (the ancestors of the Americans, the British, the Jews and other related peoples). The siege is so bad that water, bread and meat are rationed. This siege is caused by foreign economic powers ganging up against the United States, locking it out of world trade!
(To learn more about what the Bible prophesies concerning this siege, request our free book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet, by Gerald Flurry.)
These prophecies are why Herbert W. Armstrong, the editor in chief of the Plain Truth, wrote in 1980 that Americans should prepare to “greatly reduce” their standard of living. When a nation is beset with trade war, goods become more expensive and paychecks don’t stretch as far. Yet God promises to provide the daily needs of those who truly obey Him. Problems such as rising inflation and plunging living standards are trials designed to prod people to evaluate their obedience to God’s commands.