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Inflation refers to a continuous rise in general price level, which shrinks the value of money or purchasing power over a certain length of time. It is calculated in terms of per cent change in the value of price index consisting of a range of goods or services. An inflation rate of 8% means that the general level of prices of goods and services has increased by 8% over the previous period. In other words, purchasing the same amount of goods and services will cost you 8% more than what it would have cost you in the previous period. Thus, Inflation can also be explained as a decline in the real value of money - a loss of purchasing power in the means of exchange, which is also the monetary unit of account.