Commodity Online

WASHINGTON: World Bank on Tuesday said, soaring food and fuel prices are the biggest challenge for poor nations (especially in East Asia) than US financial turmoil, which is roiling global markets.

In its half yearly report on East Asia, it said the region could see an aggregate income loss of one percent of gross domestic product due to price increases, which it said were hitting the poor especially hard.

The bank defines East Asia as including Southeast Asia and most other countries in the region, including China but not Japan.

The bank warned higher commodity prices are not about to ease up, making it even more urgent that policymakers take the right measures to alleviate the burden on the poor.

There may be volatility, they may come down for awhile, but I think eventually we are expecting a relatively long period of elevated prices in metals, in food and oil, the report said.