Global Economic Prospects 2015

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Prospects Daily: World Bank downgrades global economic outlook, Global bond yields slid to record lows, U.S. retail sales slump in December, Brazil’s retails sales slows less than expected

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World Bank lowers forecasts for global growth

Having grown at an estimated 2.6% in 2014, the global economy is at a disconcerting juncture, according to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report, released yesterday.
The GEP report predicts the global economy will grow 3% in 2015, below a forecast of 3.4% made in June. The report expects world GDP growth will reach 3.3% in 2016, as opposed to a June forecast of 3.5%, before dipping to 3.2% in 2017.

World Bank published latest commodity prices: January 2015

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In December 2014, energy prices dropped sharply by 18.6%, while the prices of non-energy commodities went down slightly by 2.5%. Food prices were down by 1.8%. Beverages declined by 2.4%. Raw materials went down by 0.9%, and fertilizers were slightly down by 0.1%. Metals and minerals decreased by 5.0%, but precious metals went up by 2.1%.
To access recent and long-term historical prices and other commodity-related information, please click here.

Prospects Daily: Oil prices continue to plunge, Eurozone investor confidence improves for the third consecutive month, Turkey’s inflation eases more than expected

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Financial Markets

The sell-off resumed for oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic on Monday as concerns about a stock surplus and demand weakness weighed on crude markets. ICE February Brent—the international oil marker—fell $2.67 to $53.75 a barrel in Monday trading to fresh five-and-a-half-year lows, having posted in 2014 its second-largest annual drop since records began. Meanwhile, the Nymex February West Texas approached $50 a barrel and the US benchmark dropped $2.14 to $50.55. Both reached levels last hit in May 2009.

Prospects Weekly: Lower oil prices will have a marked impact on oil producers but their effect will be diffused for oil importers, Strength of the U.S. dollar in combination with the sharp drop in oil prices could expose underlying vulnerabilities

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Oil prices fell to less than $60/barrel in mid-December 2014, reaching their lowest level in five years, bringing the cumulative fall in line with that of other commodity prices compared to their early 2011 peaks. Although low oil prices will have a marked impact on a number of oil producers, their effect on oil importers will be diffused. Yet, low oil prices offer an opportunity for energy reform.