Statistics from the Office of National Statistics this morning showed that the UK went into reverse in the last quarter of 2011, when the economy shrank by 0.2% – but as the Baltic Dry Index shows, the global economy is looking even more worrying.
The index – often used as a proxy for the health of the global economy as it reflects the prices charged for shipping commodities such as metals, coal or grain around the world – has fallen by 61% since October.
The index was at 842 at yesterday’s close – down from its 12-month high of 2173 last October.
Nick Bullman, managing partner at risk consultant Check Risks, said the index is a good way of looking at the risks to the global economy, “as it tends to be where they hit first”.
2012 - a hard year ahead