What is The Baltic Dry Index and why should it concern us ordinary punters?" you might well ask. Most of the financial data reported in mainstream news is bollocks. GDP only measures the amount of money churning around an economy, while the CPI (Consumer Prices Index is constantly manipulated by swapping in and out the goods or services it looks at. What makes The Baltic Dry Index a more reliable measure is that it looks at the volume of cargo being shipped around the world and the amount of spare capacityy on ships, and through that monitors the market in shipping capacity.
When losts of stuff is on the move, the price per tonne on various shipping routes goes up, when trade is quiet the shipping companies drop prices to try to attract cargo.
And that is why we should worry that earlier in this week, The Baltic Dry Index dropped to a record (inflation adjusted) low.