Each month the OECD produces an interesting set of composite leading indicators (“CLI”) showing cyclical fluctuations around a long term average over time for the major global economies. The set is quite smooth with distinct turning points, which is somewhat unusual given all the noise associated with economic data. However, this comes at the expense of timeliness, with the most recent data going back to last August.

But there is another way of looking at the data that can provide early confirmation (if not indication) of cyclical changes in the global economy. And that’s when China is used as a leading indicator.