Tags: Shilling | Copper | Economy | Oil

Gary Shilling: Copper More Reliable Economic Indicator Than Oil

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 07:11 AM

Economist Gary Shilling says the price of copper is a more reliable indicator of where the economy is heading than the price of oil.

“Copper goes into almost anything that’s manufactured,” Shilling tells the Business Insider. “It’s a very good indicator of industrial production globally.”

“Secondly, there’s no cartel on either the supply or demand side of copper. It isn’t like oil, where you can have a good fundamental position and then that outfit called OPEC screws it up.”

Editor's Note: This Wasn’t an Accident — Experts Testify on Financial Meltdown

Shilling is short copper and short on commodities overall because he expects a global slowdown — if not an outright global recession — and because he expects that China, the major commodities buyer for the past few years, will have a hard landing as manufacturing slows due to lessened demand.

“China was the major rationale for the commodities bubble, and I think it was a bubble,” says Shilling, adding that while China may have gotten the economy under control, the country is experiencing a housing bubble and inflation. And, China is an export-led economy.

Reuters reports that, for all of China's talk of economic rebalancing to shield it from internal and external risks, the only real re-orientation in the medium term is shifting infrastructure spending West to replicate rewards reaped by 30 years of coastal development, a move that will likely stoke concerns already voiced by the International Monetary Fund about China's unprecedented rate of investment spending.

Editor's Note: This Wasn’t an Accident — Experts Testify on Financial Meltdown


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