Commodity prices have declined sharply over the past three years, and output growth has slowed considerably among those emerging market and developing economies that are net exporters of commodities. A critical question for policymakers in these countries is whether commodity windfall gains and losses influence potential output or merely trigger transient fluctuations of actual output around an unchanged trend for potential output. The analysis in this chapter suggests that both actual and potential output move together with the commodity terms of trade but that actual output comoves twice as strongly as potential output. The weak commodity price outlook is estimated to subtract almost 1 percentage point annually from the average rate of economic growth in commodity exporters over 2015–17 as compared with 2012–14. In exporters of energy commodities, the drag is estimated to be larger—about 2¼ percentage points on average over the same period. The projected drag on the growth of potential output is about one-third of that for actual output.

Adjusting to Lower Commodity Prices