The chart is from Bloomberg, I cannot find a longer one but the word is that it just hit a 25 year low. (see also previous blog under Baltic dry index). The highs and lows below the chart look odd simple because this particular way of presenting things was intended for stocks, not this index which is compiled once a day! This index has been very popular as a barometer of the wellbeing of the economies around the world as it tracks freight rates for 4 different classes of vessels on all the world’s major shipping routes. Unlike unemployment it is not easily manipulated, there are no seasonal adjustments, fictitious companies hiring or firing, or very convenient definitions. Late last year this index moved up briefly but then turned down again. This year it is down 62.5% and YoY 38.8%. Not good!!