Annual growth of consumer prices, 2019 (Percentage)

Development of consumer prices in 2019

Inflation rates varied widely across the world’s economies in 2019. Consumer prices increased relatively quickly in several economies in North-Eastern Africa and Western Asia. They increased by 250 per cent in Zimbabwe and by around 20 000 per cent in Venezuela. Inflation rates above 50 per cent were also recorded in Argentina, South Sudan and the Sudan. In most economies, however, including all developed economies, growth of consumer prices remained between 0 and 5 per cent.

Trends in exchange rates

In 2019, three of the most traded currencies depreciated against the United States dollar. The price of the euro in dollar terms decreased by 5.2 per cent and pound sterling and yuan by around 4.2 per cent. The yen appreciated slightly. Over the last decade, the United States dollar exchange rate to these currencies has been slightly increasing.

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

Commodity price index falling, led by fuels

In 2019, the UCPI fell by 7.4 per cent compared to the previous year, indicating that the prices of main commodities exported by developing economies have stopped rising. However, the price index excluding fuels went up (+2.8 per cent). Indeed, falling fuel prices (-12.6 per cent) were the main driver behind the decrease in the overall index. Prices for agricultural raw materials and food also declined, though less than prices for fuels, while prices for minerals, ores and metals increased.

Figure 2UNCTAD Commodity Price Index (2015=100)

Recent monthly trends in commodity prices

Making a comparison with the same month in the previous year, fuel prices decreased at accelerating rates from March to October 2019. They remained stable in December 2019 and January 2020. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, prices began tumbling and reached a historic year-on-year decrease of 61.6 per cent in April 2020. Between then and August, the pace of decrease has slowed down to -23.7 per cent, year-on-year.

Prices of other commodity groups followed more stable trends. The prices for food and especially for minerals, ores and metals increased continuously from mid-2019, whereas prices for agricultural raw materials continuously declined. From December 2019, the year-on-year growth of prices slowed down in all commodity groups for several months. This stagnation lasted for food until July 2020.

Figure 3Year-on-year growth of prices by commodity group (Percentage)

Note: Percentage change of UCPI sub-indices, compared to the same month in the previous year.

Summary tables

Table 1

Consumer prices by group of economies

Group of economies

Consumer price index

Annual growth rate

(2010=100)

(Percentage)

2014

2019

2014–2019

2019

World

113

129

2.7

3.1

Developing economies

124

155

4.6

5.5

Developing economies: Africa

135

222

10.4

9.9

Developing economies: America

125

175

7.0

7.5

Developing economies: Asia and Oceania

122

143

3.3

4.5

Transition economies

134

191

7.4

4.9

Developed economies

107

114

1.2

1.5

Selected groups

Developing economies excluding China

128

171

5.9

6.9

Developing economies excluding LDCs

123

152

4.4

5.3

LDCs

146

263

12.4

10.4

LLDCs

131

212

10.1

11.2

SIDS (UNCTAD)

122

136

2.1

1.6

HIPCs (IMF)

132

177

6.1

4.7

BRICS

122

145

3.6

3.9

G20

112

125

2.3

2.7

Note: Venezuela is not considered in the aggregations.

Find the data on UNCTADstat
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

(2010=100)

(Percentage)

2017

2018

2019

2017

2018

2019

2019

China

0.14796

0.15115

0.14475

119

122

125

10.8

United States of America

1.00000

1.00000

1.00000

112

115

117

10.2

Germany

1.12968

1.18095

1.11947

109

111

113

(e) 7.3

Japan

0.00892

0.00906

0.00917

104

105

105

(e) 3.6

United Kingdom

1.28704

1.33417

1.27641

115

118

120

3.6

France

1.12968

1.18095

1.11947

107

109

110

(e) 3.6

Netherlands

1.12968

1.18095

1.11947

111

113

116

(e) 3.3

Korea, Republic of

0.00088

0.00091

0.00086

113

115

115

(e) 2.7

China, Hong Kong SAR

0.12832

0.12758

0.12762

128

131

135

2.6

Singapore

0.72415

0.74138

0.73305

113

114

114

2.6

Italy

1.12968

1.18095

1.11947

109

110

111

(e) 2.6

Canada

0.77045

0.77171

0.75370

112

115

117

(e) 2.2

India

0.01536

0.01462

0.01420

160

168

180

2.2

Ireland

1.12968

1.18095

1.11947

105

106

107

(e) 2.0

Mexico

0.05284

0.05196

0.05191

130

137

142

(e) 2.0

Spain

1.12968

1.18095

1.11947

108

110

111

(e) 2.0

Russian Federation

0.01714

0.01596

0.01545

168

173

181

(e) 1.9

Switzerland, Liechtenstein

1.01555

1.02262

1.00626

98

99

100

1.9

Belgium

1.12968

1.18095

1.11947

113

115

117

(e) 1.7

United Arab Emirates

0.27229

0.27229

0.27229

113

117

115

1.6

a
Exports of goods and services.
Find the data on UNCTADstat
Table 3

Price indices of selected primary commodities

(2015=100)

Commodity group

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

All groups

142

182

177

170

157

100

91

106

123

114

All food

114

141

132

120

119

100

104

102

96

94

Food

111

135

127

120

118

100

104

103

96

98

Tropical beverages

110

144

112

90

111

100

97

94

86

81

Vegetable oilseeds and oils

121

151

152

136

123

100

107

106

100

93

Agricultural raw materials

142

177

143

131

115

100

100

105

103

99

Minerals, ores and metals

136

164

153

138

121

100

105

116

118

125

Minerals, ores and non-precious metals

170

191

159

156

133

100

101

128

131

135

Precious metals

110

143

148

125

111

100

107

108

108

117

Fuels

150

198

197

194

180

100

83

104

132

116

Selected groups

Tropical beverages and food

111

137

124

112

117

100

102

101

94

94

All groups excl. fuels

129

158

145

131

119

100

104

110

109

112

All groups excl. precious metals

146

188

181

176

163

100

88

106

126

114

All groups excl. precious metals and fuels

138

164

143

134

123

100

102

112

109

109

Table 4

Monthly price indices of main commodity groups

(2015=100)

Period

All groups

All food

Agricultural

raw materials

Minerals, ores

and metals

Fuels

2019

January

112

93

101

116

115

February

116

93

101

122

120

March

118

92

101

121

123

April

121

92

102

122

128

May

119

90

101

121

125

June

112

93

100

126

112

July

114

94

99

131

113

August

109

92

97

129

106

September

113

92

97

131

112

October

110

94

96

129

107

November

113

98

96

126

113

December

116

102

98

127

116

2020

January

114

102

99

132

112

February

104

100

97

130

97

March

83

96

94

127

65

April

73

94

91

129

49

May

81

93

90

134

60

June

90

95

92

139

72

July

95

95

93

148

76

August

101

99

96

159

81