This year, China observes the year of the rabbit. That's appropriate, since inflation is jumping in the world's second-largest economy.
With prices also up in countries such as Brazil and India, there's concern America might soon hop on the inflationary bandwagon, says Jeet Dutta, senior economist with Moody's Analytics. "All these headlines about inflation raging in other parts of the world may influence people to think that it's going to happen here," he says.
Dutta doesn't necessarily agree, noting that inflation is still low. It's running around 1.6 percent annually, and a recent Bloomberg survey predicted 1.7 percent for 2011.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke doesn't seem worried. He recently told Congress that "inflation made here in the U.S. is very, very low." Then again, in 2007 he said the impact of the subprime crisis "seems likely to be contained."
No matter your view, it's good to keep a lookout. After all, inflation can eat away the value of your savings. Here are some signs that suggest it could be here already, and a few future indicators that may signal it's getting worse.