Another positive view of the global macroeconomic improvement comes from the World Bank. According to their Global Economic Prospects report published this month, “the world economy is showing signs of bouncing back this year, pulled along by a recovery in high-income economies” five years after the global financial crisis. Global GDP is projected to grow from 2.4% in 2013 to 3.2% this year, stabilizing at 3.4% and 3.5% in 2015 and 2016, respectively, with much of the initial acceleration reflecting a pick-up in high-income economies. Developing-country growth is also firming, thanks in part to the recovery in high-income economies as well as moderating, but still strong, growth in China. The report forecasts growth in developing countries to pick up from 4.8% in 2013 to a slower than previously expected 5.3% this year, 5.5% in 2015 and 5.7% in 2016.
However in the meantime, the Baltic Dry Index, a popular and frequently-cited economic barometer for worldwide trade activity, has declined -36% since the start of the year. The index measures the price (hence market supply and demand) of very large oceangoing vessels and ships charge to carry important commodities that function as raw material inputs to the production of intermediate or finished goods, such as concrete, electricity, steel, and food. The index is also seen as an efficient leading economic indicator of future economic growth and production. It is too early to tell if this is a function of supply, demand, seasonality, all/some of these things, etc., but it is something to keep in the back of your mind as a leading economic indicator in the midst of generally positive data points otherwise.
Source: World Bank