Commodity Price Co-Movement and Global Economic Activity

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Guided by a macroeconomic model in which non-energy commodity prices are endogenously determined, we apply a new factor-based identification strategy to decompose the historical sources of changes in commodity prices and global economic activity. The model yields a factor structure for commodity prices and identification conditions that provide the factors with an economic interpretation: one factor captures the combined contribution of shocks that affect commodity markets only through general-equilibrium forces. Applied to a cross-section of commodity prices since 1968, the theoretical restrictions are consistent with the data and yield structural interpretations of the common factors in commodity prices. Commodity-related shocks have contributed modestly to global economic fluctuations.

JEL Code(s): E, E3, F, F4