Latest update:15 December 2021

Between January and November 2021, the number of vaccines administered in the US increased from zero to around 450 million, coinciding with an increase in GDP from around 4% to around 6% over the same period.

The pandemic is expected to have a significant impact on government finances, with the debt level of “advanced” economies estimated to reach 125% of total GDP, and 65% in “emerging” economies.


Global GDP growth is expected to have reached around 9% by the end of 2021, with estimated highs of 11% and lows of 7%.


According to the OECD, the unemployment rate in OECD nations stood at 5.7% in October 2021, compared to 5.8% in September 2021.

Projected covid-19 recovery around the world


Latest update: 7 January 2022


After passing $10,000 per tonne in October, the copper price declined marginally over the remainder of the year, but still averaged over 50% higher in 2021 compared with 2020. A drop in inventories has helped copper prices, which have been under pressure due to declining demand in China, with the country’s power supply crisis leading to factories being closed, thereby impacting demand, with surpluses expected.


The global iron ore price fell steeply in November due to steel production curbs by China as the country looked to reduce pollution and power use. However, while port stocks continued to climb, there followed an improvement in the price in December, peaking at $113.6 per tonne. For 2021, the average iron ore price was 52% higher than in 2020.


After reaching a six-year high of $1,325 per troy ounce in February, the price of platinum fell to a low of $925 per troy ouncez in December, before recovering marginally by the end of the year. The average price of platinum was still significantly higher in 2021, compared with the prior year, at $1,098 per ounce, an increase of 23%.


Rising demand as the northern hemisphere entered the winter months, coupled with increasing natural gas prices and supply constraints, led to a surge in thermal coal prices in September and October. After peaking at $269.50 per tonne on 5 October, an intervention by the Chinese government, ordering its major miners to cut prices and increase output, led to thermal coal price dropping to $140.90 per tonne in early November, before it recovered to $166 per tonne in December.


The gold price has fluctuated around the $1,800 per ounce mark for the last few months, with an increase in November due to rising inflation followed by a dip, related to the spread of the latest Covid-19 variant in December.

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