We all have heard that for the past decade or more, commodity prices have been very volatile - maybe it has always been that way.
But in general, until the last two years, the volatlity seemed to be mostly on the upside.
We found this interesting chart from a recent report on managing commodity and input costs from CAPS Research, the research arm of the Institute for Supply Management. Adapted from data collected by McKinsey, it compares growth of world GDP with the change in an index of global commodity prices.
There have obviously been two big recent surges in commodity prices, first from early 2007 through mid-2008, and then after a pullback again from mid-2010 through early 2011.
But following that 2011 peak, commodity prices, as they always do, again pulled back, so that by the end of 2013 on average they were back right in line with GDP growth.
As we reported earlier, there was a bit of a tick up in overall commodity and input costs the first half of 2014, and of course any individual commodity can vary dramatically from the average, but in general things have evened out - awaiting the next peak. You will notice only in the deepest period of the Great Recession in 2009 have commodity prices fallen below global GDP growth. (See .)
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