› ECONOMICS when an economy deflates or is deflated, prices fall and there is a reduction in wages and government spending, and low levels of growth: The chancellor will have to keep rates high and deflate the economy to keep the lid on prices and finance the trade deficit. The fear is that economies fueled by aid dollars will deflate after international agencies leave.
› to reduce the value or price of something, or to become less valuable or expensive: Some people are angry, arguing that the state has artificially deflated housing values in the area. Over the past ten years, telecom prices have deflated by 50% while levels of competition have never been more intense. → Compare inflate, reflate