For decades, the free flow of trade across much of the world allowed the richest nations to enjoy easy access to low-priced goods and supplies. It meant solid economies and stable markets.
And for households and businesses, especially in the United States and Europe, it meant an entire generation of ultra-low inflation.
Now, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has delivered a devastating blow to that system. Prices, which had already been rising, have shot up further. Supply chains, already disrupted by the swift recovery from the pandemic recession, face renewed pressure.