The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
A two-country theoretical model is presented, showing the effects of monetary, fiscal, and supply-side disturbances on prices of primary commodities and manufactured goods, and on exchange rates. If monetary shocks dominate, then commodity prices should lead general price movements, and the level of commodity prices should be correlated with the general inflation rate. Country-specific commodity price indexes are developed for the major industrial countries. Several empirical tests broadly support the conclusions of the model. Commodity price levels tend to be cointegrated with consumer-price inflation rates. Commodity price movements contribute weakly to predictions of inflation rates but more strongly to predictions of turning points in inflation.