In the second quarter, overall global inflation had fallen to 1.6 percent from 2 percent at the end of last year, according to JPMorgan.
In its most recent economic outlook, the International Monetary Fund trimmed its forecast for global growth this year by two-tenths percentage points, to 3.3 percent this year. IMF economists see global growth picking up to 3.8 percent next year. The growth forecast for the U.S. was trimmed by six-tenths of point, to 2.5 percent this year, rising to 3 percent in 2016.
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Some countries will fare better than others if commodity prices keep falling, according to Neil Shearing, who follows emerging markets at Capital Economics. Major commodity exporters are the biggest losers; Shearing counts Russia, Nigeria, Zambia, Venezuela Chile and Colombia among the biggest losers. On the other hand, big commodity importers—including Korea, Morocco, India and Thailand—are the biggest beneficiaries of the commodity price plunge.
Closer to home, falling prices have prompted many businesses to take a more cautious approach. One recent signal came from a survey of small businesses by economists at Wells Fargo Securities.
The survey found that, while small businesses were feeling more confident about their own finances, they were less confident about their own growth prospects.
"We suspect much of the recent decline is tied to the pullback in commodity prices and concerns about how the slower global economic growth and the stronger dollar will effect business," according to Wells Fargo economists.