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October 2010

Global Commodity Watch

John Baffes's picture

Non-energy commodity prices in September rose for the third straight month, up 3.9 percent, due to supply constraints and a weakening U.S. dollar—down 1.5 percent versus the euro. For the first nine months of the year, non-energy prices are up 17.9 percent, with large gains in iron ore and fertilizers.

Indices of Nominal US$ Prices (2000=100)
Source: The World Bank

Currency Politics

Jamus Lim's picture

Talking currencies is back in vogue again. The ebbs and flows of the news cycles surrounding the renminbi, yen, real, and dollar almost resemble the wild swings of the currencies themselves. Why the sudden revival of interest in the mass media about so esoteric a topic as exchange rates? After all, in the rarified world of economic theory, countries would allow their national monies to be freely determined by markets for foreign exchange; in return, the market-established rate would magically eliminate imbalances in national trading accounts.

Purchasing Manager Surveys show manufacturing cooling on both sides of the Atlantic

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture

In U.S. economic news today: personal consumption expenditures (PCE) in August beat market expectations, by rising a fairly sharp 0.4% (m/m) for a second month in succession. The gains were rooted in a favorable 0.5% monthly rise in personal incomes (the biggest advance of 2010), while the household saving rate moved up by a tenth of a point to 5.8%. This development adds more support to the view that U.S. domestic demand should continue on a modest (and likely decelerating) growth course over the remainder of 2010.