Some of the best forward looking recession indicators are in the commodities markets. Because they are generally a gauge for demand in the economy, they indicate where things are headed. Well, one of the best—copper—which is utterly ubiquitous across the global economy, is flashing some very worrying signs. Copper has had a very rough summer, but it has been worsening lately despite better share prices. The commodity just hit its lowest price in over a year. China accounts for around 40% of global copper demand. One analyst summarized the situation, saying “Copper is widely considered to be a bellwether for the global economy and so a weak price is cause for concern”.
FINSUM: Copper is partly at the mercy of the big fears in emerging markets, but that does not seem to account for the extremity of the selloff. This does worry us.