Food and Commodities Inflation
Joe Kaplinsky, co-author of Energise!, introduced ‘Food and Commodities Inflation’
The world has recently witnessed continued inflation in the prices for many of the commodities that are increasingly demanded in greater supply by the world’s emerging economies. What will the effect be for the global economy, and for the world’s most vulnerable people if food price inflation is here to stay?
Commodity prices have spiralled dramatically over recent years. The world’s poorest economies have generally benefited from increased demand for and prices of their exports, at the expense of the rich world. Does the prospect of inflation of food prices threaten to hit the world’s poorest economies hardest while leaving the wealthy untouched?
Recent inflation in food prices has led some to warn of the impact of rising prosperity of consumers in the world’s developing nations. How much does the current bout of inflation have to do with increased affluence in the world’s emerging economies, or even the increased use of farm land for biofuels?
‘Recent price jumps appear to have more in common with historic factors, such as poor harvests or animal disease, than they do with 21st century phenomena’
Should we take the current inflation of prices as a warning of things to come? Is now the time to asses the consequences of coming affluence amongst the world’s poor?