Global Economic Prospects 2014

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April 2014

​Prospects Daily: U.S. government bonds rise on slower economic growth, Spain grows the fastest in 6 years, South Africa’s trade balance records a larger-than-expected deficit in March

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Financial Markets
 
Treasury securities strengthened on Wednesday as U.S. first-quarter economic growth slowed more than forecasted, boosting demand for safe-have government debt. Weak U.S. GDP number fueled speculation the Federal Reserve won’t accelerate pace in withdrawing monetary stimulus. In recent trading, the benchmark 10-year yields dropped 3 basis points (bps) to 2.66%, while 5-year note yield declined 4 bps to 1.70%.
 

Prospects Daily: S&P cuts Russia’s sovereign credit rating, Russia unexpectedly hikes key rate on higher inflation risks, Brazil’s consumer confidence drops to five-year low

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Financial Markets
 
Developing-country stocks are heading for the biggest weekly loss in six weeks amid mounting tensions over Ukraine. The benchmark MSCI Emerging Market Index dropped 0.9% to the lowest level since April 1 in afternoon trading, extending its weekly drop to 1.6%. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 1% at the closing, and it slumped 2.9% this week amid concerns over Chinese economic slowdown. The developing-country stock gauge has declined 0.8% thus far this year, compared with a 1.2% gain for mature-market gauge.
 

Prospects Daily: Greece returns to international capital markets, U.S. jobless claims down to nearly 7-year low, China’s exports contract for second consecutive month in March

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Financial Markets
 
Greece sold €3 billion of 5-year bonds on Thursday, tapping the international bond market for the first time since March 2010, as the country took advantage of the bond market rally across euro-zone economies. The bond was priced at a yield of 4.95% with nearly 90% of the issue being sold to foreign investors. After surging to more than 30% following the debt restructuring in 2012, the yield on Greek 10-year bonds fell below 6% yesterday for the first time since February 2010
 

Prospects Weekly: The robust recovery in gross capital flows that began in the second half of 2013 resumed in March, Global business sentiment improved in March despite concerns around Ukraine, Import demand is strengthening across developing regions

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After faltering in February, the robust recovery in gross capital flows that began in the second half of 2013 resumed in March. Global business sentiment improved in March despite concerns around Ukraine and slowing growth in China. Consistent with these trends, import demand is strengthening across developing regions, albeit with variations.

Prospects Daily: Global stocks started the week on a weak note, Germany's industrial production increased 0.4% (m/m) in February, Mozambique’s annual headline inflation accelerated in March, rising to 3.0% up from 2.4% (y/y) in February

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Financial Markets…Global stocks started the week on a weak note, after enjoying three weeks of consecutive gains, as a sell-off of technology stocks that started on U.S. market on Friday extended to Asian and European markets. Renewed concern over the geopolitical risk in Ukraine also weighed on investors’ sentiment, especially in Europe. The benchmark MSCI world stock index dropped a third of a percent from last week’s highest levels not seen since late 2007.

Prospects Daily: U.S. Treasuries rise after lower-than-expected March jobs gain, U.S. jobless rate steady at 6.7% while Canada’s falls to 6.9%, Fitch maintains China’s sovereign rating at ‘A+’

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Financial Markets… U.S. treasuries advanced on Friday after fewer-than-expected jobs gain for March eased worries over earlier-than-anticipated hike in policy rate by the Federal Reserve. The rally was led by the 5-year Treasury note with its yield sliding 7 basis points (bps) to1.73%, compared to a 2 basis point gain in the 30-year Treasury yield to 3.61%. The benchmark 10-year yield dropped 4 bps to 1.73%. This development reflects that short-term and medium-term Treasury securities are regarded as most vulnerable to a rise in interest rates.
 

World Bank published latest commodity prices: April 2014

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In March of 2014, energy prices dropped by 2.1% and the prices of non-energy commodities also decreased by 0.8%. Food prices were down by 1.4%. Beverages jumped by 9.1%. Raw materials were up by 1.4% while fertilizers were off by 3.2%. Metals eased by 3.7%, while precious metals increased by 2.2%.
 
To access recent and long-term historical prices and other commodity-related information, please click here.