By PAUL WISEMAN
AP Economics Writer
For decades, the free flow of trade across much of the world allowed the richest nations to enjoy easy access to low-priced goods and supplies. It meant solid economies, stable markets and, especially in the United States and Europe, long-lasting prosperity. And for households and businesses, it meant an entire generation of ultra-low inflation. Now, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has delivered a devastating blow to that system. Prices, which had already been rising, have shot up further. Supply chains, already disrupted by the swift recovery from the pandemic recession, face renewed pressure. The widening rupture between the world’s democracies and its autocracies has further darkened the global picture.