Inflation is a persistent rise in the general price level. A one-time hike in the level of prices is not inflation. Only a sustained increase in the general price level is considered to be inflation. Inflation is important to consider when discussing the stability of a country's economy. Usually countries that experience highly-variable rates of inflation are not considered to have a stable economy. In contast, deflation is a continuous fall in the average price level while disinflation is a decrease in the rate of inflation.