IN contrast to the year 1959, when virtually all countries participated in world-wide expansion, the year 1960 and the early part of 1961 presented a less unified picture. Rapid growth continued in most of the European industrial countries and in Japan, but in the United States and Canada a slackening of activity was evident. The volume of exports of the primary producing countries increased, but the prices of their exports, which had risen, on the average, during 1959 and the early part of 1960, subsequently showed a slight downward tendency. Broadly speaking, the average level of commodity prices was unusually steady in the past year.