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Cost-push refers to a type of inflation caused by substantial increases in the cost of important goods or services where no suitable alternative is available. Essentially, this inflation happens when producers pass along the increased cost of production to consumers in the form of higher prices. This scenario often occurs when there is a sudden increase in the cost of raw materials or labor.


The phonetics for the keyword “Cost-Push” is: kɑst-pʊʃ

Key Takeaways

Cost-push is an economic situation where there is increasing in prices due to higher costs of inputs. Here are the three main takeaways:

  1. Inflation: Cost-push inflation occurs when overall prices increase (inflation) due to increases in the cost of wages and raw materials.
  2. Supply Side Effect: High production cost leads to a decrease in the supply of these products. When the supply is less, and demand is more, the price of products tends to rise.
  3. Economic Impact: Cost-push inflation can stall economic growth. High prices mean that consumers are less likely to purchase as many products, leading to lower profit for companies and a slowdown in economic growth.


Cost-Push is an important term in business and finance as it refers to a situation where the overall price levels go up (inflation) due to the increase in the cost of wages and raw materials. This phenomenon is crucial as it can impact a company’s production cost and profitability. It prompts the producers to decrease their supply or pass the increased cost onto consumers, thus affecting the market equilibrium. Additionally, understanding cost-push inflation helps policymakers and economists craft strategies, regulations, and monetary policies that keep inflation at a manageable level. It is not only essential for strategic business decision-making but also for understanding economic conditions in general.


Cost-push refers to the phenomenon when the overall pricing levels of goods and services in an economy increase as a result of the rise in the cost of production. The higher costs of production could be due to a wide range of factors such as wage increases or raw material price hikes. The term “cost-push” serves to explain the rationale behind this inflation and illuminates its inherent link to the input costs associated with the production process. When cost-push inflation occurs, businesses typically have no choice but to pass on the increased costs to their consumers in the form of higher prices to maintain their profit levels.The primary use of cost-push is to analyze and understand the reasons behind inflation within an economy. By recognizing the role of production costs in determining the price of goods and services, companies can strategize and plan effectively. For policymakers, understanding cost-push inflationary pressures can inform appropriate monetary and fiscal policy responses. By controlling the variables that lead to increased production costs, authorities can manage inflation more efficiently. This ultimately contributes to economic stability, maximizing prosperity for both businesses and consumers.


Cost-push inflation can be caused by a variety of situations in the real world. Here are three examples.1. Increase in Labor Costs: If a union negotiates a significant wage increase, the company may have to increase the cost of their products in order to maintain their profit margins. This causes cost-push inflation as the increase in labor costs leads to an increase in the cost of production and, therefore, the final product price. 2. Rise in Material Costs: For instance, if a hurricane restricts oil production, then the decreased supply of oil can lead to a sharp increase in oil prices. Businesses that rely on oil for production, transportation and other purposes would then face higher production expenses, leading to cost-push inflation. 3. Government Regulations: Sometimes, the government introduces new regulations that increase the operating expenses of a business. For example, increased taxes or tighter environmental regulations can cause companies to increase their prices to maintain profitability, leading to cost-push inflation.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Cost-Push?

Cost-Push is an economic theory which proposes that inflation occurs when the costs of production—such as raw materials, labor, and capital—rise, prompting producers to increase prices to maintain profit levels.

What causes Cost-Push inflation?

It is caused by an increase in production costs, caused by higher prices for commodities and raw materials, increased labor costs due to wage inflation, or higher indirect taxes.

What is the effect of Cost-Push on businesses?

Cost-Push can pinch the profit margins of businesses if they are unable to pass the increased cost on to consumers. For business owners, it poses a risk and may necessitate the reevaluation of current pricing strategies in order to maintain profitability.

Can consumers be affected by Cost-Push?

Absolutely. If businesses decide to pass on the increased costs of production to consumers, this will reflect in higher prices for goods and services.

How can governments respond to Cost-Push inflation?

Governments may attempt to mitigate the impacts of Cost-Push inflation by implementing policies that control wages or prices. In some cases, they may attempt to manage the supply of money in the economy as a way of controlling inflation.

What is the difference between Cost-Push and Demand-Pull inflation?

While both Cost-Push and Demand-Pull inflation lead to a rise in price levels, they differ in their causes. Cost-Push inflation is caused by a decrease in aggregate supply due to increased costs of production, while Demand-Pull inflation is caused by an increase in aggregate demand, typically from an expanding economy.

Is Cost-Push inflation always negative?

It tends to be viewed negatively as it represents a problematic aspect of economic policy – trying to contain inflation without hampering economic growth. However, some economic theorists argue that it could potentially lead to broader economic growth in the long term if it results in increased wages and thus higher consumer spending.

Related Finance Terms

  • Inflation: A general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money, often triggered by cost-push effects.
  • Supply Shock: An unexpected event that changes the supply of a product or commodity, resulting in a sudden change in its price and can lead to cost-push inflation.
  • Production Cost: The total cost incurred by a business to produce a specific quantity of a product or service, which directly impacts cost-push inflation.
  • Stagflation: A condition of slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment – or economic stagnation – accompanied by rising prices, or inflation, or cost-push inflation.
  • Raw Materials: The basic material from which a product is made, often a key component in cost-push inflation when the prices of these materials increase.

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