Which Countries Have the Lowest Inflation?
Investors are bracing for longer inflation.
The Federal Reserve indicated that more restrictive monetary policy is in the cards amid strong employment gains. In Europe, while inflation has fallen, it is still far above the 2% target. Across the Euro area inflation is estimated to have reached 8.5% in January.
At the same time, some countries have managed to tamp down inflation. Slower growth, cheaper import costs, and foreign exchange policy are some of the factors keeping inflation subdued.
As price pressures rattle global markets, the above infographic maps inflation rates globally using data from Trading Economics, focusing in on the countries with the lowest inflation levels.
World’s Lowest Inflation Rates
Many of the lowest inflation rates around the world are located in Asia, including Macau, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In this region, widespread lockdowns strained growth and consumer spending, lessening inflationary pressures. Last year, Chinese consumers saved $2.2 trillion in bank deposits during these restrictions which were lifted earlier this year.
Inflation in the region was impacted by several other factors. Earlier on in the pandemic, Asian countries including China were less impacted by rising food costs, services inflation, and supply-chain disruptions, unlike what was seen in North America and Europe.
But now as China has reopened, some signs of inflation are beginning to appear. Food prices are up 4.8% annually in December, and hotel rates are rising.
|Rank||Country / Region||Inflation Rate, Year-Over-Year||Date|
|1||🇸🇸 South Sudan||-11.6%||Dec 2022|
|2||🇲🇴 Macau||0.8%||Nov 2022|
|3||🇨🇳 China||1.8%||Dec 2022|
|4||🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR||1.8%||Nov 2022|
|5||🇴🇲 Oman||2.1%||Nov 2022|
|6||🇵🇦 Panama||2.1%||Dec 2022|
|7||🇸🇨 Seychelles||2.5%||Dec 2022|
|8||🇻🇺 Vanuatu||2.7%||Mar 2022|
|9||🇹🇼 Taiwan||2.7%||Dec 2022|
|10||🇨🇭 Switzerland||2.8%||Dec 2022|
|11||🇱🇮 Liechtenstein||2.8%||Dec 2022|
|12||🇧🇯 Benin||2.8%||Dec 2022|
|13||🇲🇻 Maldives||2.8%||Nov 2022|
|14||🇳🇪 Niger||3.1%||Dec 2022|
|15||🇧🇳 Brunei||3.1%||Nov 2022|
|16||🇧🇴 Bolivia||3.2%||Nov 2022|
|17||🇰🇼 Kuwait||3.2%||Nov 2022|
|18||🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||3.3%||Dec 2022|
|19||🇰🇭 Cambodia||3.6%||Oct 2022|
|20||🇫🇯 Fiji||3.6%||Dec 2022|
|21||🇪🇨 Ecuador||3.7%||Dec 2022|
|22||🇯🇵 Japan||3.8%||Nov 2022|
|23||🇱🇾 Libya||3.8%||Nov 2022|
|24||🇧🇲 Bermuda||3.8%||Oct 2022|
|25||🇧🇭 Bahrain||3.9%||Nov 2022|
|26||🇲🇾 Malaysia||4.0%||Nov 2022|
|27||🇵🇸 Palestine||4.1%||Dec 2022|
|28||🇮🇶 Iraq||4.2%||Nov 2022|
|29||🇯🇴 Jordan||4.4%||Dec 2022|
|30||🇹🇯 Tajikistan||4.5%||Nov 2022|
|31||🇻🇳 Vietnam||4.6%||Dec 2022|
|32||🇧🇹 Bhutan||4.6%||Nov 2022|
|33||🇹🇿 Tanzania||4.8%||Dec 2022|
|34||🇳🇨 New Caledonia||4.9%||Dec 2022|
|35||🇰🇷 South Korea||5.0%||Dec 2022|
|36||🇮🇱 Israel||5.3%||Dec 2022|
|37||🇱🇺 Luxembourg||5.4%||Dec 2022|
|38||🇸🇿 Swaziland||5.5%||Oct 2022|
|39||🇮🇩 Indonesia||5.5%||Dec 2022|
|40||🇬🇦 Gabon||5.7%||Oct 2022|
|41||🇨🇮 Ivory Coast||5.7%||Nov 2022|
|42||🇪🇸 Spain||5.7%||Dec 2022|
|43||🇮🇳 India||5.7%||Dec 2022|
|44||🇧🇷 Brazil||5.8%||Dec 2022|
|45||🇹🇭 Thailand||5.9%||Dec 2022|
|46||🇫🇷 France||5.9%||Dec 2022|
|47||🇳🇴 Norway||5.9%||Dec 2022|
|48||🇶🇦 Qatar||5.9%||Dec 2022|
|49||🇩🇯 Djibouti||6.1%||Sep 2022|
|50||🇸🇴 Somalia||6.1%||Dec 2022|
|51||🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago||6.2%||Sep 2022|
|52||🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea||6.3%||Sep 2022|
|53||🇵🇷 Puerto Rico||6.3%||Nov 2022|
|54||🇨🇦 Canada||6.3%||Dec 2022|
|56||🇧🇿 Belize||6.5%||Nov 2022|
|57||🇺🇸 U.S.||6.5%||Dec 2022|
|58||🇦🇼 Aruba||6.6%||Nov 2022|
|59||🇸🇬 Singapore||6.7%||Nov 2022|
|60||🇹🇱 East Timor||6.7%||Nov 2022|
|61||🇦🇪 UAE||6.8%||Jun 2022|
|62||🇳🇦 Namibia||6.9%||Dec 2022|
|63||🇬🇾 Guyana||6.9%||Nov 2022|
|64||🇳🇿 New Zealand||7.2%||Sep 2022|
|65||🇿🇦 South Africa||7.2%||Dec 2022|
|66||🇬🇷 Greece||7.2%||Dec 2022|
|67||🇱🇷 Liberia||7.2%||Sep 2022|
|68||🇦🇺 Australia||7.3%||Sep 2022|
|69||🇲🇹 Malta||7.3%||Dec 2022|
|70||🇸🇻 El Salvador||7.3%||Dec 2022|
|71||🇦🇱 Albania||7.4%||Dec 2022|
|72||🇨🇻 Cape Verde||7.6%||Dec 2022|
|73||🇨🇲 Cameroon||7.7%||Sep 2022|
|74||🇨🇫 Central African Republic||7.7%||Nov 2022|
|75||🇹🇬 Togo||7.7%||Dec 2022|
|76||🇲🇽 Mexico||7.8%||Dec 2022|
|77||🇩🇴 Dominican Republic||7.8%||Dec 2022|
|78||🇨🇷 Costa Rica||7.9%||Dec 2022|
|79||🇨🇾 Cyprus||7.9%||Dec 2022|
|80||🇲🇱 Mali||8.0%||Nov 2022|
|81||🇳🇵 Nepal||8.1%||Nov 2022|
|82||🇵🇭 Philippines||8.1%||Dec 2022|
|83||🇵🇾 Paraguay||8.1%||Dec 2022|
|84||🇧🇧 Barbados||8.2%||Oct 2022|
|85||🇮🇪 Ireland||8.2%||Dec 2022|
|86||🇺🇾 Uruguay||8.3%||Dec 2022|
|87||🇲🇦 Morocco||8.3%||Nov 2022|
|88||🇦🇲 Armenia||8.3%||Dec 2022|
|89||🇵🇪 Peru||8.5%||Dec 2022|
|90||🇱🇸 Lesotho||8.5%||Oct 2022|
|91||🇩🇿 Algeria||8.6%||Nov 2022|
|92||🇩🇪 Germany||8.6%||Dec 2022|
|93||🇩🇰 Denmark||8.7%||Dec 2022|
|94||🇧🇩 Bangladesh||8.7%||Dec 2022|
|95||🇫🇴 Faroe Islands||8.8%||Sep 2022|
|96||🇫🇮 Finland||9.1%||Dec 2022|
|97||🇰🇪 Kenya||9.1%||Dec 2022|
|98||🇰🇾 Cayman Islands||9.2%||Sep 2022|
|99||🇬🇹 Guatemala||9.2%||Dec 2022|
|100||🇬🇼 Guinea Bissau||9.4%||Nov 2022|
*Inflation rates based on latest available data.
Globally, one outlier is South Sudan. Political instability and violence have depressed growth and inflation, which stood at -11.6% in December. As it faces a severe humanitarian crisis, the country has the lowest inflation rate worldwide.
Oil-producing nation Oman has also seen low inflation, at 2.1%. One reason for this is that the Omani rial is pegged to the U.S. dollar, keeping the currency anchored. Inflation has remained moderate over the last decade in the country.
The Country With the Lowest Inflation, by Region
In Europe, Switzerland has the lowest inflation rate, at 2.8%, or roughly one-third of the Euro area’s. It is also the lowest rate in the OECD. The country’s strong currency has shielded it from inflationary pressures and high import prices.
Meanwhile, Swiss production prices have risen marginally above inflation, to 4.1% annually in mid-2022. Last year, the Swiss central bank raised interest rates for the first time since 2007 from -0.75% to -0.25% following 20 years of deflation.
Panama has the lowest rate in Latin America. The dollarization of the Panamanian balboa has helped quash price pressures. In July, the government regulated the price of 72 items to keep the cost of living from rising after three weeks of protests as inflation climbed as high as 5.2% during the course of 2022.
With the lowest inflation in Asia, Macau witnessed the tourism industry fall off a cliff given lockdown measures, and the economy saw both its GDP and inflation collapse in 2022. Its real GDP is projected to have fallen close to 30% for the year.
The IMF estimates that 84% of countries around the world will have lower inflation than last year. By 2024, both headline and core inflation are projected to remain above pre-pandemic levels at 4.1%.
Opposing forces of China’s reopening and weaker global growth could offset inflationary pressures, yet this interplay—among a host of other factors—remains to be seen.
Ranked: Top Countries for Foreign Direct Investment Flows
Take a look at changes in foreign direct investment flows over a decade, analyzing the top destinations and biggest investors.
One of the most significant phenomena in 21st-century globalization, driven by the ascent of multinational corporations and the removal of investing barriers, is the vast cross-border flow of foreign capital.
To analyze recent trends, Samidha Nayak utilized World Bank data spanning 2012–2022, charting the top 10 destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI) and the leading investing countries annually.
Countries With the Most FDI Inflows (2012–2022)
In 2012, the United States had the highest FDI inflow, attracting about $250 billion in investment from the rest of the world.
At second place, China’s FDI inflows stood about $9 billion lower at $241 billion.
The middle ranks have representatives from Europe (Netherlands, Cyprus), from Asia (Hong Kong) and from South America (Brazil).
Towards the bottom, three OECD countries—Germany, Ireland, and Australia—all attracted an average of $60 billion in foreign investment.
Unexpectedly, the British Virgin Islands came in 8th. Their lack of corporate tax makes it a popular place for companies to headquarter, in turn attracting FDI inflows.
|1||🇺🇸 U.S.||$250.35||1||🇺🇸 U.S.||$388.08|
|2||🇨🇳 China||$241.21||2||🇨🇳 China||$180.17|
|3||🇳🇱 Netherlands||$239.67||3||🇸🇬 Singapore||$140.84|
|4||🇧🇷 Brazil||$92.57||4||🇭🇰 Hong Kong||$120.95|
|5||🇭🇰 Hong Kong||$74.89||5||🇫🇷 France||$105.42|
|6||🇨🇾 Cyprus||$69.97||6||🇧🇷 Brazil||$91.50|
|7||🇩🇪 Germany||$65.44||7||🇦🇺 Australia||$67.12|
|8||🇻🇬 British Virgin Islands||$61.12||8||🇨🇦 Canada||$53.71|
|9||🇮🇪 Ireland||$58.09||9||🇸🇪 Sweden||$50.05|
|10||🇦🇺 Australia||$57.55||10||🇮🇳 India||$49.94|
Ten years later however, the top 10 saw a shuffle. The U.S. and China retained their top spots, but the difference grew much larger—with the U.S. attracting nearly 50% more foreign investment ($388 billion) than China ($180 billion).
Singapore, which first appeared in the rankings in 2014, took third place with $141 billion.
Meanwhile the bottom half changed almost entirely with France, Canada, Sweden, and India replacing Cyprus, Germany, the British Virgin Islands, and Ireland.
Countries With the Most FDI Outflows (2012–2022)
Unlike the ranks of net inflows, the top 10 countries with the highest FDI outflows have stayed essentially the same.
The U.S. topped the list in both ends of the decade, despite briefly falling out of the top 10 entirely in 2018. There were only three new entrants (France, Australia, and the UK) in 2022 compared to 10 years prior, with Cyprus, Switzerland, and the British Virgin Islands dropping out of top spots.
|1||🇺🇸 U.S.||$377.24||1||🇺🇸 U.S.||$426.25|
|2||🇳🇱 Netherlands||$237.94||2||🇩🇪 Germany||$178.87|
|3||🇯🇵 Japan||$117.63||3||🇯🇵 Japan||$175.40|
|4||🇩🇪 Germany||$99.08||4||🇬🇧 UK||$158.93|
|5||🇭🇰 Hong Kong||$88.12||5||🇨🇳 China||$149.69|
|6||🇨🇾 Cyprus||$75.25||6||🇳🇱 Netherlands||$125.89|
|7||🇨🇳 China||$64.96||7||🇦🇺 Australia||$123.36|
|8||🇨🇦 Canada||$62.25||8||🇫🇷 France||$118.76|
|9||🇨🇭Switzerland||$54.30||9||🇭🇰 Hong Kong||$106.86|
|10||🇻🇬 British Virgin Islands||$53.94||10||🇨🇦 Canada||$83.11|
Many of the countries who are in the top ranks for inflows (U.S., China, Canada, Australia) are also in the top ranks for outflows both in 2012 and 2022.
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