Pound hits three-year high, as reopening hopes lift travel and oil firms – business live – The Guardian

For example, while medieval plagues caused labour shortages and so inflation, the 40% CPI increase in the two years after the Black Death in 1349 still only caused average inflation over the 1350s as a whole, of 3 ½%. And the plague of 1666, was followed by falling prices for several years.

There were spikes in inflation due to South American silver and gold arriving in Europe, and due to wars (early 1700s, early 1800s, early 1900s), but the post WW2 inflation didn’t start as soon as rebuilding did. In the US, inflation averaged 2.2% in the 1950s and 60s and only picked up, along with everyone else, in the 1970s.

I think central bankers take too much of the credit for keeping inflation down in the last 20 years, but by the same token, I am not convinced that a post-pandemic economic recovery will lead to runaway inflation in the next few years, if it took 20 years of post-WW2 rebuilding to do so. The big dangers are still debt and falling asset prices, after a period of excessive asset price gains.