Economic Bright Spots in 2015
It hasn’t been all bad news in 2015.
The World Bank is touting the economic progress seen this past year and posted several charts showing various milestones in a blog post titled, “Year in Review: 2015 in 12 charts“.
The first chart shows that global poverty is now below 10%. Just 25 years ago, more than one-third of the world lived below the poverty line. Today, 9.6% are living on $1.90 or less a day.
The child mortality rate has dropped 53% in the last 25 years. In 1990, 12.7 million children under the age 5 died. In 2015, that number was 5.9 million.
Commodity prices also dropped over the past 12 months. Crude oil (CL=F) prices declined nearly 40% and copper (HG=F) is off by a quarter in the past year. Lower raw material prices took a toll on exporters like Russia, which is widely expected to see a 4% drop in GDP once its 2015 numbers are fully tallied. Even the U.S. market saw a damper in stocks as earnings in the energy sector were hit. But it also meant food and production costs were cheaper.
Starting a business became easier worldwide. In 2004, the global average time to start a business was 51 days. Today, it’s just 20 days as many governments are making efforts to cut red tape so entrepreneurs can open up shop faster.