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Inflation impacts discounted cash flow models by reducing the real value of future cash flows.

Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, and subsequently, purchasing power is falling. In the context of discounted cash flow (DCF) models, inflation can have a significant impact. DCF models are used to estimate the value of an investment based on its expected future cash flows. These models take into account the time value of money, which is the concept that money available today is worth more than the same amount in the future due to its potential earning capacity.

When inflation is high, the value of future cash flows decreases because the purchasing power of money diminishes over time. This means that the cash flows an investment is expected to generate in the future are worth less in today's terms. Therefore, when using a DCF model to evaluate an investment, it's important to factor in the expected rate of inflation. If this is not done, the model may overestimate the value of the investment, leading to potentially poor investment decisions.

Inflation also affects the discount rate used in DCF models. The discount rate is the interest rate used to calculate the present value of future cash flows. It reflects the risk associated with the investment and the time value of money. When inflation is high, the discount rate is typically higher to compensate for the decreased purchasing power of future cash flows. This further reduces the present value of these cash flows in the DCF model.

In summary, inflation plays a crucial role in discounted cash flow models. It reduces the real value of future cash flows and increases the discount rate, both of which lower the present value of an investment. Therefore, it's essential to consider the expected rate of inflation when using these models to make investment decisions.

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