Consumer prices rose in large parts of Africa in 2017
Euro appreciated slightly against the United States dollar: +2%
Upturn in commodity prices driven by fuels (+26%)
In May 2017, food prices decreased again
Annual growth of the consumer price, 2017 (Percentage)
Economies

    Consumer prices and exchange rates

    In 2017, most African economies experienced strong increases in their consumer prices, especially South Sudan where the inflation rate reached almost 190 per cent. Prices rose by more than 12 per cent also in Argentina, Haiti, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and several Central Asian economies, and escalated rapidly in Venezuela, at a rate of more than 1000 per cent. By contrast, in most developed economies as well as in larger parts of Eastern Asia and Western Africa, prices remained stable, with inflation rates below 2 per cent.

    Currencies of main exporting economies, with the exception of the euro, depreciated against the United States dollar in 2017 compared with the year before. The price of a pound sterling fell from US$1.350 to US$1.287, a fall of almost 5 per cent, thereby continuing a descent that had begun in 2015. The value of the yuan and the yen reduced by lower rates than the pound. The euro appreciated by 2 per cent.

    Figure 1 Exchange rates against the United States dollar (Annual average)

    Free market commodity prices

    In 2017, the UNCTAD free market commodity price index (FMCPI) increased by 18 per cent compared with the previous year. This was the first increase in the index in five years. This recovery had been heralded in 2016 by a slowdown in the decline of the ‘All groups’ index and an increase in the index excluding fuels. The rise in commodity prices in 2017 was driven primarily by a surge in fuel prices (+26 per cent) which was only slightly dampened by falling prices for tropical beverages (-3 per cent) and food (-1 per cent).

    Figure 2 Free market commodity price index (2015=100)

    Monthly trends by commodity group in 2017

    The upturn in commodity prices lost momentum during the first half of 2017. The year-over-year growth rate – the percentage increase compared with 12 months before – of all commodity groups bottomed out around June.

    During the second half of the year, fuel, mineral, ore and metal prices rebounded, although unevenly and to varying degrees. In contrast, increases in agricultural raw material prices continued to slow, and eventually declined in October. Rising food prices stalled in May and thereafter fell continually at rates of around 8 to 9 per cent, year over year.

    Figure 3 Growth rate of prices by commodity group, 2017 (Percentage*)
    *
    Compared to the same month in the previous year, as indicated by FMCPI sub-indices.

    Summary tables

    Table 1

    Development of consumer prices by group of economies

    Group of economies

    Consumer price index

    Annual growth rate

    (2005=100)

    (Percentage)

    2012

    2017

    2012-2017

    2017

    World

    127

    157

    4.3

    7.5

    Developing economies

    151

    235

    9.2

    17.0

    Developing economies: Africa

    173

    272

    9.4

    13.8

    Developing economies: America

    164

    543

    27.1

    70.4

    Developing economies: Asia and Oceania

    144

    171

    3.5

    2.7

    Transition economies

    190

    288

    8.6

    5.4

    Developed economies

    114

    121

    1.1

    1.7

    Selected groups

    Developing economies excluding China

    162

    291

    12.5

    24.6

    Developing economies excluding LDCs

    150

    232

    9.1

    17.1

    LDCs

    201

    343

    11.3

    15.4

    LLDCs

    184

    284

    9.1

    10.7

    SIDS (UNCTAD)

    161

    186

    3.0

    2.5

    HIPCs (IMF)

    175

    236

    6.1

    8.2

    BRICS

    144

    176

    4.1

    2.3

    G20

    123

    137

    2.2

    2.3

    Table 2

    Exchange rate and consumer prices among main exporting economies

    Economy
    (Ranked by share in
    world exports)

    Exchange rate to

    United States dollar

    Consumer price index

    Share in

    world exportsa

    (2005=100)

    (Percentage)

    2015

    2016

    2017

    2015

    2016

    2017

    2017

    China

    0.16058

    0.15050

    0.14796

    133

    136

    138

    10.7

    United States of America

    1.00000

    1.00000

    1.00000

    121

    123

    126

    (e) 10.2

    Germany

    1.10907

    1.10615

    1.12689

    116

    116

    118

    (e) 7.6

    Japan

    0.00826

    0.00919

    0.00892

    103

    103

    104

    (e) 3.8

    France

    1.10907

    1.10615

    1.12689

    116

    116

    117

    (e) 3.5

    United Kingdom

    1.52778

    1.35019

    1.28700

    126

    127

    130

    (e) 3.5

    Netherlands

    1.10907

    1.10615

    1.12689

    118

    118

    120

    (e) 3.4

    Korea, Republic of

    0.00088

    0.00086

    0.00088

    127

    129

    131

    2.9

    China, Hong Kong SAR

    0.12900

    0.12883

    0.12832

    137

    141

    143

    (e) 2.8

    Italy

    1.10907

    1.10615

    1.12689

    118

    118

    120

    (e) 2.7

    Singapore

    0.72737

    0.72383

    0.72415

    129

    128

    129

    2.5

    Canada

    0.78180

    0.75449

    0.77057

    118

    120

    122

    (e) 2.2

    India

    0.01559

    0.01488

    0.01536

    225

    236

    242

    2.1

    Spain

    1.10907

    1.10615

    1.12689

    120

    119

    122

    (e) 2.0

    Mexico

    0.06310

    0.05358

    0.05284

    148

    153

    162

    1.9

    Switzerland, Liechtenstein

    1.03909

    1.01482

    1.01555

    103

    102

    103

    1.9

    Belgium

    1.10907

    1.10615

    1.12689

    120

    123

    125

    (e) 1.8

    Russian Federation

    0.01641

    0.01491

    0.01714

    247

    264

    274

    (e) 1.8

    Ireland

    1.10907

    1.10615

    1.12689

    112

    112

    113

    (e) 1.8

    China, Taiwan Province of

    0.03134

    0.03094

    0.03285

    112

    113

    114

    1.7

    a
    Exports of goods and services.
    (e)
    Estimated data.
    Find the data on UNCTADstat
    Table 3

    Indices of free market prices of selected primary commodities

    (2015=100)

    Commodity group

    2010

    2011

    2012

    2013

    2014

    2015

    2016

    2017

    All groups

    141

    181

    176

    170

    157

    100

    90

    106

    All food

    112

    136

    130

    120

    122

    100

    102

    100

    Food

    111

    134

    127

    119

    118

    100

    104

    102

    Tropical beverages

    110

    144

    112

    90

    111

    100

    97

    94

    Vegetable oilseeds and oils

    114

    133

    145

    139

    134

    100

    103

    100

    Agricultural raw materials

    144

    178

    143

    130

    115

    100

    99

    105

    Minerals, ores and metals

    136

    164

    153

    138

    121

    100

    105

    118

    Minerals, ores and non-precious metals

    170

    191

    159

    156

    133

    100

    102

    130

    Precious metals

    110

    143

    148

    125

    111

    100

    107

    108

    Fuels

    149

    197

    196

    193

    179

    100

    82

    103

    Selected groups

    Tropical beverages and food

    111

    137

    123

    112

    116

    100

    102

    100

    All groups excl. fuels

    129

    156

    144

    131

    120

    100

    103

    110

    All groups excl. precious metals

    145

    186

    180

    176

    163

    100

    88

    106

    All groups excl. precious metals and fuels

    137

    161

    142

    134

    125

    100

    102

    112

    Note: Price indices based on United States dollars.

    Find the data on UNCTADstat
    Table 4

    Monthly Indices of free market prices by main commoditiy group

    (2015=100)

    Period

    All groups

    All food

    Agricultural

    raw materials

    Minerals, ores

    and metals

    Fuels

    2016

    January

    72

    91

    92

    89

    62

    February

    75

    92

    91

    96

    64

    March

    81

    95

    95

    102

    70

    April

    85

    98

    100

    103

    76

    May

    90

    104

    99

    102

    83

    June

    94

    109

    99

    102

    88

    July

    93

    108

    101

    110

    84

    August

    94

    106

    101

    111

    86

    September

    94

    107

    101

    109

    86

    October

    98

    107

    102

    109

    93

    November

    96

    106

    105

    114

    87

    December

    106

    104

    108

    113

    104

    2017

    January

    108

    108

    114

    115

    105

    February

    109

    107

    115

    120

    105

    March

    104

    103

    112

    119

    99

    April

    104

    100

    106

    116

    101

    May

    102

    101

    103

    112

    99

    June

    98

    100

    100

    112

    92

    July

    99

    100

    101

    114

    94

    August

    103

    97

    101

    121

    98

    September

    107

    97

    102

    122

    104

    October

    109

    97

    101

    120

    108

    November

    114

    97

    102

    120

    116

    December

    115

    96

    104

    120

    118

    Note: Price indices based on United States dollars.

    Find the data on UNCTADstat