Fiddling While Rome Burns

By Spencer

While Congress fiddles and postures it might be informative to look at two highly reliable leading indicators of world economic growth.

The first is the Dry Ships Index of various daily bulk cargo rates. Over time this has proven to be a highly sensitive leading indicator of world economic activity. About half of the recent plunge in the blue index so far this year has occurred this month.

The second index is the CRB:Index of Industrial Raw Material Prices — it includes no energy or agricultural foodstuffs prices. About one quarter of the drop in this index so far this year occurred since the end of last month.Both of these indicators are signaling that the slowdown in world economic growth is accelerating.

I’ll just remind readers that these are two of the signals that I used as leading indicators of a peak in oil prices earlier this year.