Corporate Flagships

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The current corporate publications that are World Bank Group flagships are: World Development Report (WDR); Global Economic Prospects (GEP), Doing Business (DB), and Poverty and Shared Prosperity (PSP). All go through a formal Bank-wide review and are discussed with the Board prior to their release. In terms of branding, the phrase “A World Bank Group Flagship Report” will be used exclusively on the cover of these publications. This label will signal that the institution assumes a higher level of responsibility for the positions held by these reports. The flagship Global Monitoring Report (GMR) is no longer produced. The flagship Doing Business is no longer produced.

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    Commodity Markets Outlook, April 2023: Lower Prices, Little Relief
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-04-27) World Bank Group
    Global commodity prices fell 14 percent in the first quarter of 2023, and by the end of March, they were roughly 30 percent below their June 2022 peak. The unwinding of prices reflects a combination of slowing economic activity, favorable winter weather, and a global reallocation of commodity trade flows. Commodity prices are expected to fall by 21 percent this year and remain mostly stable in 2024, although the outlook is subject to multiple risks in a highly uncertain environment. These risks include intensification of geopolitical tensions, the strength of demand from China following its post-COVID reopening, likely energy supply disruptions, and weather conditions, including the emerging El Niño. A Special Focus section evaluates the performance of several approaches used to forecast prices of seven industrial commodities. It finds that futures prices, which are widely used for price forecasts, often lead to large forecast errors. Time-series models based on multiple independent variables tend to outperform other model-based approaches as well as futures prices. Machine-learning techniques yield better forecasts than some of the traditional approaches. The analysis suggests that augmenting model-based forecasting approaches—by incorporating the dynamics of commodity prices over time and controlling for other economic factors—enhances forecast accuracy.
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    Commodity Markets Outlook, October 2022: Pandemic, War, Recession : Drivers of Aluminum and Copper Prices
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022-10-26) World Bank Group
    A sharp global growth slowdown and concerns about an impending global recession are weighing on commodity prices. Some energy prices remain elevated, however, amid geopolitical tensions and persistent supply disruptions. Brent crude oil prices are forecast to average $92/bbl in 2023 and ease to $80/bbl in 2024. Agricultural and metal prices are projected to decline 5 and 15 percent, respectively, in 2023 before stabilizing in 2024. The outlook is subject to multiple risks in a highly uncertain environment. They include worsening global growth prospects, including the pace of recovery in China; macroeconomic uncertainties; a prolonged and deeper conflict in Ukraine; and, in the case of food commodities, the ongoing La Niña weather pattern along with trade policies. A Special Focus section investigates the drivers of aluminum and copper prices. It finds that the price rebound after the pandemic was mainly driven by the economic recovery, but supply factors also contributed about one-quarter to the rebound. Since March 2022, a steep global growth slowdown, an unwinding of supply constraints, and concerns about an imminent global recession contributed to the plunge in metal prices. It concludes that for metal exporters, the energy transition may bring windfalls, but it could also increase their exposure to price volatility.
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    Commodity Markets Outlook, April 2021: Causes and Consequences of Metal Price Shocks
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04-20) World Bank Group
    Commodity prices continued to recover in the first quarter of 2021 from lows reached in 2020, supported by the global economic recovery, improved growth prospects, and supply factors specific to crude oil, copper, and some food commodities. Looking ahead, oil prices are forecast to average $56/bbl in 2021, 36 percent higher than in 2020, and see a further rise to $60/bbl in 2022 as demand continues to recover. Metal prices are expected to average 30 percent higher in 2021 than in 2020 on the back of strong demand before dropping back somewhat in 2022. Agriculture prices are forecast to average nearly 14 percent higher in 2021, driven by a few food commodities, and are expected to stabilize thereafter. A Special Focus section examines the impact of metal price shocks on metal-exporting countries. Since global metal prices are predominantly driven by global demand shocks, metal price swings can amplify the impact of global downturns and recessions—or conversely, upturns—for metal exporters. Metal price jumps are associated with small, temporary gains from price increases for metal exporters, but metal price collapses tend to lead to larger, and longerlasting, output losses.