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May 2012

Prospects Weekly: The up-tick in market tensions have caused CDS rates to rise sharply

The up-tick in market  tensions following recent bank downgrades, partial nationalizations and elections have caused CDS rates to rise sharply, although in most countries they remain below their fall 2011 highs. Stock markets have also tumbled, exchange rates depreciated and the turmoil has contributed to falling commodity prices.

Prospects Weekly: Market confidence has been rattled once again

Market confidence has been rattled once again following recent election results in France and Greece. However, credit default swaps rates, while up, remain well below their fall 2011 highs. Through March, retails sales have continued strengthening among both developing and high-income economies, although weakness still persists in the Euro Area.

Global Commodity Watch - May 2012

John Baffes's picture

Non-energy commodity prices fell by 0.4 percent in April, led by declines in most metals, on concerns about the global economy. Agriculture prices were flat overall, with strong increases in fats & oils offsetting declines elsewhere. The soybean complex continued to record strong gains on further supply losses in South America. Crude oil prices slid on improving supply conditions, while U.S. natural gas prices continued to plummet due to large oversupply. Fertilizer prices rose sharply on strong demand in the Americas and emerging demand in Asia.

Prospects Weekly: Developing-country imports of capital goods rose sharply in Q1 2012

Developing countries’ external short-term debt stocks at the end of last year were down almost $60 billion from Q2 2011, due to funding pressure at Western banks and a decline in trade financing.  Developing-country imports of capital goods rose sharply in Q1 2012 – auguring well for future output and high-income exports.

World Bank published latest commodity prices: May 2012

John Baffes's picture

In April 2012 the energy price index declined by 3.6% while the non-energy index remained broadly unchanged.  Food edged up by 0.4%, beverages weakened by 1.4%, raw materials softened by 0.4%, metals fell by 1.9% and fertilizers strengthened by 4.7%.  The US dollar appreciated 0.4% against the euro and 0.3% against a broad index of currencies.