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September 2011

Prospects Daily: Global markets: stocks and commodities drop sharply, governemnt bonds gain

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture

Important developments today:

1. Global markets: equities and commodities fall sharply, government bonds continue to gain

2. Rating agencies downgrade U.S. and Italian banks

3. Eurozone PMI contracts for the first time in two years

 

Global Commodity Watch - September 2011

John Baffes's picture

Non-energy commodity prices fell by 1.6 percent in August while energy prices dropped 6.3 percent. Most of the declines were for industrial commodities owing to concerns about demand and numerous macro/financial/credit risks. Gold and silver prices rose amidst the uncertainty on safe haven buying. Agriculture prices were essentially flat overall, with grains prices up on downgrades to U.S. harvest estimates, but these were offset by declines in coconut oil, cotton and cocoa due to improved supply prospects.

Prospects Weekly: Euro Area woes have worsened on growing concerns about banking-sector exposures

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture

Euro Area woes have worsened on growing concerns about banking-sector exposures to sovereign obligations and skepticism about the medium-term solvency of several high-spread member countries. A crisis of confidence has taken hold, partly prompted by the apparent inability of politicians to get in front of the crisis. Unlike previous episodes of volatility, contagion to core Euro Area countries and abroad—including developing countries—has taken hold.

Prospects Daily: President Obama proposes $450 billiion in jobs stimulus

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture

Important developments today:

1. Credit risk for European sovereigns, and commercial bank debt rises to fresh highs

2. European equity markets showed a certain degree of apathy to the plan announced by Mr. Obama last evening

 

World Bank published latest commodity prices: September 2011

John Baffes's picture

In August 2011 energy prices fell by 6.3%. Non-energy prices dropped by 1.6%; food prices moved up by 0.8%; beverages declined by 1.4%; raw materials prices slipped by 0.7%; metals declined notably by 4.1%; fertilizers gained by 1.2%. The US dollar depreciated 0.4% against the euro but appreciated 0.6% against a broad index of currencies.

Indices of Nominal US$ Prices, Percent Changes (July to August 2011)
 

Small-Time Convergence

Jamus Lim's picture

For any macroeconomist concerned about growth in nations, economic convergence---the catch-up of less developed economies with the mature industrialized ones---is the ultimate dream. The basic premise behind the notion of convergence gas been around for at least a half century, following on Robert Solow's groundbreaking work on the dynamics of economic growth. Alas, convergence, at least as commonly understood by the profession, has remained elusive for the majority of developing countries in the world.