The Strategist

World Bank: Stabilization of global commodity prices will restrain inflation slowdown

04/26/2024 - 07:31

The current recession significantly reduced global commodity prices, which contributed to the previous year's inflation slowdown. This, in turn, could make it more challenging for central banks around the world to swiftly lower interest rates, reads the World Bank's (WB) Commodity Markets Outlook.

The WB analysts believe that the escalating Middle East war could reverse the recent two-year trend of declining inflation.

The organization's commodity price index decreased by over 40% between the middle of 2022 and the middle of 2023, but it hasn't changed since the middle of the previous year.

If not for the rise in geopolitical conflicts, the WB forecasts that the commodities index would fall by 3% in 2024 and by 4% in 2025. The World Bank stated that such rates of drop in commodity prices will not be sufficient to reduce inflation, which is still over goal levels in the majority of countries.

The World Bank cautions that rising prices for food, fertilizer, and natural gas could result from an intensification of the Middle East conflict.

However, the organization's baseline projection predicts that global food prices will drop by 6% and 4% in 2024 and 2025, respectively, and that fertilizer costs will drop by 22% and 6%.