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Commodity Market Outlook

OPEC’S grip on oil prices may be slipping: A historical perspective

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We tend to think of migration in the international context, but a greater scale of migration takes place within a country. China estimates that some 3.6 billion trips will be made during the 40-day period surrounding the Lunar New Year holiday this year. Some are on vacation and business, but most are to return home. Baidu even visualizes this massive internal migration from one place to another on a China map.

People cross provincial boundaries for many reasons – to find jobs, to earn higher incomes, to attain better/higher education or skills, to access hospital and other public services, to join family members, or to escape political instability or violence. Research has shown that, of all these, average wage differences are the most important factor to explain internal migration.

Prices seen rising for oil and other commodities in 2017

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Prices for most commodities, including oil, are forecast to rise in 2017 as a long period of declining prices appears to be bottoming out, according to the October Commodities Markets Outlook.

Oil prices are forecast to rise to $55 per barrel next year from $43 per barrel in 2016 as markets readjust after an era of abundant supply that outpaced demand. Energy prices, which also include coal and natural gas, are forecast to jump 24 percent in the coming year. The decision in September of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to resume limiting oil production is another important factor behind the higher price forecast.

Improved market sentiment and a weakening dollar buoy commodity price indexes

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A report on the economic burden of mental illness argues that depression and anxiety disorders cost the world nearly $1 trillion annually. Conversely, every dollar invested in mental health contributes $4 to the economy. Photo credit: TNMHP

April 7 marked the 70th anniversary of World Health Day. This was an opportunity for the global community to redouble its efforts to ensure that all people can improve their health, including their mental health.
 
When his father died, Gopi, a carpenter in rural Tamil Nadu, India was overwhelmed by an enormous mental and financial burden.

Gopi became depressed, left his job, and isolated himself.

As his condition worsened, Gopi’s two younger sisters dropped out from high school to take on farming jobs to support the family.

However, thanks to medicine, counseling, and livelihood support from the Mental Health Program (TNMHP), Gopi eventually rehabilitated himself and got back to carpentry a year later.

With time, he even took out a Rs. 20,000 loan to start his own carpentry business.

Gopi’s experience—and many others’—illustrate how mental health is integral to well-being.

The World Bank recognizes mental health as a key challenge to sustainable development.

A report on the economic burden of mental illness argues that depression and anxiety disorders cost the world nearly $1 trillion annually. Conversely, every dollar invested in mental health contributes $4 to the economy.

Accordingly, the World Bank-supported the Mental Health Program in the state of Tamil Nadu, India that incorporates best practices in mental health from around the world.

The project is an important instrument in addressing the magnitude of India’s mental health challenges, and provides a successful model for the implementation of the national mental health policy and improve mental health infrastructure and care in Indian states.

By closely involving the community, the project reduced stigma and prejudice attached to mental illness and empowered vulnerable people with mental disabilities to gain respect in their communities.  

People with mental disabilities are diagnosed and treated and provided livelihood support through vocational training, self-help groups, job cards, and identity cards to access social benefits.

Lifting of Iran sanctions could have major impact on energy markets

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In 2012, Paul Tough published How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, in which he highlighted how children who develop “noncognitive capacities” like self-control and perseverance do much better in adulthood.

Commodity prices come tumbling down

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When I was a graduate student and setting off on my first data collection project, my advisors pointed me to the ‘Blue Books’ to provide advice on how to make survey design choices.  The Glewwe and Grosh volumes are still an incredibly useful resource on multi-topic household survey design.  Since the publication of this volume, the rise of panel data collection, increasingly in the form of randomized control trials, has prompted a discussion abo

On booms and super-cycles: China and India's central role in global commodity markets

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Global commodity prices underwent an exceptionally strong and sustained boom beginning in 2000. Unlike a typical price cycle, this boom has been characterized as a “super cycle”, i.e., a demand-driven surge in commodity prices lasting possibly decades rather than years. Many researchers say this is the fourth “super cycle” of the past 150 years. The price super cycle has been attributed to strong growth in emerging markets.

Commodities (mostly) continue to tumble

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"I am selling my ears" (Dhagahaan iibinayaa), Abdillahi says, laughing.

The sharp light glimmers through the small opening in the tinted window, the wind is audible. It is early morning in Hargeisa, the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland, occupying the north-western territory of what the international community defines as Somalia. Somalia and Somaliland could not be further apart in conflict resolution experience and relative stability.

Abdillahi is still looking at me, his smile widens, his eyes sparkle. Chuckling, he leans towards me to emphasize his point. He had been telling me about the peace conference between the Somaliland clans in Borama in 1993, and had interrupted himself with the expression about selling his ears.

"That is what we say today about daily allowances from donors," he explains. "Our society is built on contribution, people here gets legitimacy through contribution.

Commodity Markets Outlook - January 2014

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近几年来,我们看到世界经济发生了广泛的变化,正规体制瓦解了,变成了非正规体制。我所在的南亚地区也不例外:劳动大军中非正规部门工人的比重超过了90% — 他们包括小摊贩、家庭工人、建筑工人和小农户,其中许多人都不能确保每周获得收入。