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This has been more than another year marred by Covid-19. Not coincidentally, it has also been a year of much higher inflation rates across the developed world. The stimulus provided by huge injections of money and government spending has meant strong demand for all goods and higher prices have followed.

The SA economy, however, has not had the benefit of more money (bank deposits) created or bank credit supplied. Fiscal deficits in 2021 have even declined rather than increased. Our inflation rate, accordingly, has remained subdued and fallen below that of the US. And while we did little to help ourselves through the Covid-19 crisis — other than to lower interest rates — with little effect on additional spending, the stimulus provided globally and the inflation that followed, including the inflation of the prices of metals and minerals, was the saving grace of 2021...

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