FocusEconomics Insights - Latest Posts
May 3, 2016
In an effort to convey why gold is such a precious metal, in part one of this series, we provided a thorough explanation of the history of gold and the gold standard along with a discussion on the potential viability of the gold standard today. In part two, we can further our discussion on why gold is so unique by explaining how it is mined and processed and discuss how its unique physical properties make it one of the most useful metals. Finally, we end the post with a section on gold's importance to the global economy, the factors that set it apart from all other commodities, and how it can be classed as both a commodity and a monetary asset. If you like, you can click on the links to the left to skip ahead in the document.
April 26, 2016
It has not been a great start to 2016 for emerging markets. Collapsing oil prices have undermined Russia’s fiscal sustainability, Brazil is struggling through a deep recession and political chaos, and the Chinese economy continues to slow, hurting growth prospects in other developing countries.
According to FocusEconomics’ Consensus Forecast, emerging economies as a whole are estimated to have grown 4.0% in 2015 and are projected to grow 4.0% combined this year. Although growth rates in general continue to be faster than those of developed economies, according to the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook report, they remain below the average of the past decade.
What’s in store for emerging markets for the rest of 2016? Have a look at our latest Consensus Forecasts and find out what the experts say about the key emerging economies this year.
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April 26, 2016
When Hernán Cortes, the famous Spanish Conquistador, first came to the New World in the 16th century, he and his men encountered indigenous civilizations that had been established there for millennia. They had never interacted with each other. They were separated by a vast ocean, did not have a common language, culture or customs, yet the one thing that they did have in common was their insatiable appetite for gold. From the very beginning, something about gold attracted civilizations all over the world without those civilizations ever having made contact with each other. It has been a symbol of beauty, power, purity and accomplishment since its discovery. Not only does gold’s natural beauty make it so mysteriously precious, but it may also be the most useful metal in the world. It is a good conductor of electricity, it does not tarnish or oxidize, and it is extremely malleable allowing it to be worked with, pounded and shaped without breaking. It is so malleable, in fact, that it can be rolled thin enough to let light pass through it. Gold is also one of the few commodities that can also be thought of as a currency or monetary asset. Many currencies around the world used to be backed by gold until recently and, although the gold standard is long since abandoned, gold is still very effectively used as a safe haven asset in times of economic turmoil to preserve wealth. With all of that said, this series of blog posts on gold will seek to explain why it is such a precious metal, by giving a history, discussing its properties, the mining and production process, the uses for gold, the top gold producing countries and lastly explain its role as a traded commodity.
April 21, 2016
As the second quarter of 2016 begins and those of us located in the northern hemisphere move out of winter and into spring, a sense of hope starts to creep in as the days become longer and lighter after months of darkness and cold. However, unfortunately for many, the low-commodity-price environment does not seem to be changing much with the seasons. Energy commodities, in particular, are continuing to see low-prices, which is why we have created a new infographic depicting our latest price forecasts for Brent Crude Oil, WTI Crude Oil, Thermal Coal, and Natural Gas, which are available in our FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast Commodities report along with price forecasts and analysis on 29 other commodities in the energy, agricultural and metals sectors.
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April 20, 2016
As commodity prices have fallen globally over the last year, the one commodity that has stood out from the rest, which is often the case, has been crude oil. OPEC oil prices fell to a 14-year low on 20 January with the OPEC oil basket falling to USD 22.5. Many have cited the oversupply of oil as the reason for the price plummet, as well as uncertainty over the global economy resulting in decreased demand. The laws of supply and demand say that as supply increases and demand decreases, prices decrease. Despite the gradual decrease in prices over the last year, oil producing countries have continued with output at record high levels to gain as much market share as possible on competitors. The competition for market share even among fellow OPEC members was evident as production continued at record highs. Since February, however, a potential deal between Russia and key members of OPEC, including the unofficial leader Saudi Arabia, to freeze oil production at January output levels was announced to try to combat the low-oil price environment and stabilize prices at a higher level. Negotiations to finalize the deal happen in Doha on 17 April, but those ended without an agreement, despite many believing a deal was a foregone conclusion before the meeting even took place.
April 14, 2016
The names Pannawonica, Paraburdoo, Koolanooka and Koolyanobbing, may sound unfamiliar, and indeed these small communities are isolated geographically from the rest of the world in the remote hinterlands of the Western Australian outback. However, these communities are some of the first to be impacted by forces stemming from well outside of Australia’s borders. These communities, as well as many others across Australia, are major iron ore mining areas, and are first in line to feel the effects of the collapse of the decade-long commodities super cycle. Some analysts expect that the rest of the Australian economy will follow suit.
February 22, 2016
Crude oil has had an eventful year thus far, with prices falling to historic lows, long-awaited production cuts that never happened, wildfires, and now Brexit has brought oil prices back into the media limelight. With that in mind we have written a little blog post here on the differences between Brent and WTI crude oil. If you are curious as to what sets various crude oils apart, especially Brent and WTI, this blog post will shed some light on the differences as well as explain a bit about the Crude Oil futures markets and what role Brent and WTI play in the global oil commodity trade. But, before getting into the specifics of Brent and WTI, it might be helpful to first go through what quality metrics differentiate crude oils from one another.
February 17, 2016
We are pleased to announce the publication of the new Commodities Consensus Forecast report. The report includes the latest price forecasts for 30 commodities in the energy, metals and agricultural sectors from leading local and global economic institutions, such as BMI Research, Goldman Sachs, Oxford Economics, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, to name just a few.
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February 11, 2016
50 analysts surveyed by FocusEconomics expect Eurozone unemployment rate to average 10.4% this year:
February 3, 2016
Asia contributes the most to the World's GDP growth, followed by the countries from the G7. The Consensus view of analysts surveyed this month by FocusEconomics is that the global economy will expand 3.0% this year, which represents a 0.1 percentage points cut over the previous month:
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2018 inflation forecast for Central America revised down 0.1 percentage points this month to 3.4%. https://t.co/vCeYnGSmsE
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Political noise and economic imbalances threaten Latin America's economic outlook. Read more:… https://t.co/Wq3z1BuYKF
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Israel growth forecast for 2018 downgraded 0.1% to 3.3%. Find out why: https://t.co/phgVA8YdW7
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- How Student Loan Debt Affects the Economy
- Elections in Russia: Analysis and Implications
- 2018 & 2019 Economic Outlook for the Top Oil Producing Countries
- Nearly a Third of Latin Americans Have No Right to a Pension
- A Look at Healthcare Models Around the World
- The Poorest Countries in the World
- Newly-elected Chilean President Sebastian Piñera faces a myriad of challenges - economic and otherwise
- The Economic Effects of Trade Protectionism
- Regional Disparity: The Dark Side of Inequality in Latin America
- Coal: The story of the world's most abundant fossil fuel
- Gold: The Most Precious of Metals (Part 3)
- Venezuela's Electoral Conundrum
- Trump's 1st Year: 95 Analysts Surveyed on U.S. Economy
- The Latest on China and What's in Store for 2018
- An in-depth look at the Eurozone’s booming economy and the challenges that lurk in the shadows
- China’s growing influence on the Latin American economy
- Top Economics & Finance Blogs of 2018
- How Latin America emerged from recession in 2017
- Is this the beginning of the end for Bitcoin?
- Risks and Opportunities for 2018 - Daniel Lacalle
- Emerging Markets 2018 Economic Outlook
- The role of FDI in Vietnam’s socio-economic development
- Increasing poverty in Latin America takes a breather thanks to improving economic dynamics
- What will be the most miserable economies in 2018?
- The World's Top 10 Largest Economies
- Is Spain doing enough to address its high youth unemployment rate?
- Has Latin America gone far enough in reducing barriers to international trade?
- Commodities Outlook: Oil, Natural Gas, Coal, Lead & Tin
- 21 experts tell us what the future looks like for cryptocurrencies and blockchain
- Turkish lira plummets to all-time low on Erdogan’s monetary feud and tense U.S.-Turkey relations
- Copper: The first metal mastered by man
- Nigerian Economy Still Treading Water Thanks to Oil Sector
- The Mercosur-EU Free Trade Agreement: Obstacles & Opportunities
- Elections in Chile: What the results could mean for the economy
- QE’s Untold Story: A Chart That Fed Correspondents Need To Investigate
- Holland’s fragile one-seat majority government targets economic growth at the expense of fiscal sustainability
- South Africa: Economy at a tipping point?
- Latin American Commodities: What’s behind the increase in demand and prices?
- Is the UK really "shackled to a corpse"?
- Spain-Catalonia: 7 economic experts weigh in on how the situation will affect the outlook
- How well is Spain's labor market doing since the crisis?
- Which countries will have the highest and lowest inflation in 2017?
- How vulnerable is Latin America to economic crises today?
- Iron ore facts and common questions answered
- The bulging economic costs of obesity
- How much investment is needed to salvage Latin America’s crumbling infrastructure?
- A Look at the Potential Impact of Brexit on the Dutch Economy
- Emerging Markets Are Kicking Into Higher Gear In 2017
- Why is foreign direct investment in Latin America falling again?
- Are Central Banks Nationalising the Economy?
- Bounty or burden? The impact of refugees on European economies is far from clear
- What’s the future of U.S.-Latin America trade relations?
- Taxes or cutbacks? Latin America's challenge of sustaining spending without causing debt to skyrocket
- Are uranium prices making a comeback?
- Taxing the Economy: Achieving a Delicate Balance
- How will Latin America’s upcoming lengthy election cycle affect the reform agenda and credit ratings?
- How will emerging market economies perform in 2017?
- Chilean Economy in Focus: Interview with Senior Economist of the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago
- CEOs Rank Top Economies for Growth Opportunities
- The Mobile Ecosystem & Latin America's Economy
- Prospects and Challenges for the Global Economy: Interview with Tim Cooper from BMI Research
- How will the Fed reduce its balance sheet & and how will the ECB end QE? - 19 economic experts weigh in
- Thoughts on "unwinding" QE from Frances Coppola
- The Fed and ECB at a crossroads: Unwinding QE
- Spain: The economy that continues to silence the critics
- Latin America: The Most Unequal Region in the World
- The History of OPEC: Has it been a Success?
- FocusEconomics Announces 2017 Analyst Forecast Awards Winners
- Latin America’s rising unemployment bucks nearly decade long trend
- Escape from the Central Bank Trap by Daniel Lacalle
- China's economic rebalancing act: What to look out for in 2017
- Driving Growth in Latin America: Challenges & Priorities
- Is the Global Economy Rebalancing?
- Commodity exporters face challenging times
- Recent Global Events Facilitate Mercosur-Pacific Alliance
- 23 economic experts weigh in: Why is productivity growth so low?
- Mexico's outlook as Trump nears 100-day mark
- Interview with Oxford Economics Senior Economist on implications of the possible outcomes of the French Presidential Election
- The anxiety of the small saver in a world of negative interest rates
- Brexit negotiations. Between Uncertainty and Urgency
- An Economic History of the EU from El Blog Salmón
- Baby Boomin': Implications of high population growth in Latin America
- Survey of International Economists Predicts a Le Pen Defeat in French Elections, Says Macron has Best Economic Plan
- Spain in a global context: developed economy with some challenges
- How much is crime costing Latin America?
- Predictions & Estimates from Economist Daniel Lacalle
- What economy will the new Dutch government inherit?
- “The data is not a true reflection of reality in India” Interview with Société Générale India Economist
- What are the prospects for Emerging Economies in 2017?
- What to expect in Asia for 2017
- Top Economics & Finance Blogs of 2017
- Latam to Resume Moderate Growth in 2017 but Important Risks Plague Outlook
- 4 Key European Elections That Will Impact the Economy in 2017
- How are security concerns and political chaos affecting Turkey’s economy?
- Global growth to edge up in 2017
- Set to breach targets again? Debt and deficit outlooks for Southern European Eurozone countries in 2016 & 2017
- What does Donald Trump mean for the U.S. economy?
- How will emerging markets perform in 2017?
- The economic impact of a break in U.S.-Philippines ties
- Trump election: Base metals surge due to infrastructure plan
- 5 updates on the Venezuelan economic crisis
- Canada: When your neighbor’s house is on fire…
- Short-term pain before long-term gain? A look at French labor reform and economic growth
- Asia: Unremarkable growth & unfulfilled promises?
- How India's latest monsoon is affecting the economy
- Innovation in Latin America: Potential Goes Untapped Due to Weak Economic Conditions
- Russian economy update in wake of OPEC deal announcement
- The Wisdom of the Crowds and the Consensus Forecast
- Can the peso predict the U.S. election results?
- There's no end in sight to the Venezuela crisis
- A Look at the European Union Political Calendar
- Survey of international economists shows uncertainty surrounding elections damaging U.S. growth prospects
- FocusEconomics partners with leading online statistics provider Statista
- China: Recent postive economic data may be papering over the cracks
- Sub-Saharan Africa's 2016 & 2017 growth rates
- The Italian Dilemma: Weak banks pose risk to already faltering domestic demand
- How much money do migrants from Latin America send home?
- The U.S.' (Not So) Mysterious Case of the Missing Men
- What to expect from the G20 economies by 2020
- The Pain in Spain: Robust GDP growth cannot mask the persistent structural deficit
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- Morss Global Finance
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- Observing Greece
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- The Capital Spectator
- Trading Floor: Social trading, news and analysis
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