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July 2011

Prospects Weekly: European heads of state agreed on financial package for Greece today

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture

European heads of state agreed on a €109 bn second financial package for Greece today. About one-third of the financing will be covered by debt swaps or rollovers by private bondholders. Aside from improving the terms of existing multilateral loans, the leaders also agreed to expand the European Financial Stability Facility’s mandate, including authority to buy bonds on the secondary market.

Prospects Blog: The euro area crisis: are the spreading market tensions justified?

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Old problems, wider tensions? In a momentous two weeks that saw two of the euro area (EA) countries under joint EU/IMF programs have their sovereign debt downgraded to “junk” status, market tensions widened to include two larger economies that together represent almost thirty percent of the whole EA GDP. Is this behavior by the markets truly justified?

Global Commodity Watch - July 2011

John Baffes's picture

Non-energy commodity prices fell by 0.4 percent in June, although there were both large declines (coconut oil and tin) and sharp gains (urea fertilizer and sugar). Crude oil prices fell on the IEA release of emergency stocks. Over the first half of 2011, non-energy commodity prices rose 3 percent, with fertilizer prices surging 26 percent on strong demand;  agriculture prices rose 3 percent, led by an 11 percent gain in grains, while metal prices were just 1 percent higher, with silver up 22 percent. Oil prices climbed 18 percent and LNG 26 percent. 

World Bank published latest commodity prices: July 2011

John Baffes's picture

Commodity prices (measured in U.S. dollars)  were mostly down in June 2011.  Energy prices retreated by 1.7%.  Non-energy prices slipped by 0.4%; food prices edged up by 0.4%; beverages fell by 3.1%; raw materials prices dropped by 2.1%; metals and drifted down by 1.2%; fertilizers jumped by 10.2%. The US dollar depreciated 0.5% against the euro but did not change against a broad index of currencies.