Emerging-market policymakers grapple with rising inflation

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IT HAS BEEN a long few months for the emerging world. Punishing temperatures—July was the hottest month on record worldwide, according to a recent analysis—fanned fires on Turkey’s Mediterranean shores and scorched Russia’s wheat fields. Covid-19 rages across countries with low vaccination rates. Just 24% of Brazilians, 9% of Indians and 7% of South Africans are double-jabbed. On top of everything else, inflation is running hot, too.

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Soaring food and energy prices have pushed inflation to uncomfortably high levels. In Brazil consumer prices are 9% higher than they were a year ago (see chart), more than twice the central bank’s target. In Russia inflation is 6.5%, well above the central bank’s aim of 4%. Inflation in India, which had been high in 2020, rose above 6% this summer—north of the Reserve…

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