Thursday, November 17, 2005

The price of copper

Obscure Economic Indicator: The Price of Copper - The metal tells us almost everything we need to know about the global economy. By Daniel Gross
Gold, which is trading today for about $467 per ounce, is the glamour metal—as an investment, as a bauble, and as a contrary economic indicator. Gold rises when people fear instability and inflation. But workaday copper, which trades for about 12 cents per ounce, is another story. After iron and aluminum, it's the "world's third most widely used metal," as the New York Mercantile Exchange notes. (It wins the bronze medal for the most used metal.) And it's a great coincident indicator. As copper's fortunes go, so goes the world economy.