The chemical industry is always a leading indicator of the global economy. One of the blog's oldest friends used to be a central banker, and he made no secret of the fact that our discussions about demand levels were often an important factor in his overall analysis.
So it is no great surprise that the World Bank has issued a rather gloomy new forecast for the world economy. It is now predicting a 2.9% decline in 2009, compared to a 1.7% fall in March. And it is only expecting a modest 2% rebound in 2010.
The Bank also warns that "developing countries are expected to grow by only 1.2% this year, after 8.1% growth in 2007 and 5.9% growth in 2008. When China and India are excluded, GDP in the remaining developing countries is projected to fall by 1.6%, causing continued job losses and throwing more people into poverty."