This is not a time to be sucked into short term rallies in stock markets or metal prices as an indication that the global recession is ending. It is not and the light at the end of the tunnel will not be seen until the OECD composite Leading Indictors start turning positive.The numbers for January are as bad as those which were issued for December last year. They are truly shocking and encompass the whole world. The indicators for so-called BRICS are worse than those coming out of the Old World, as will be seen from the year-on-year percentage changes.

What will surprise those whose hopes for recovery are pinned on China will get a rude shock .

Of all the countries covered by these indicators at a year-on-year percentage fall of 14.5%, yes -14.5%, China's slump is exceeded only by that of Russia at -18.4%These awful numbers should be a wake-up call for everyone: the world economy is not getting better, it is still getting worse. The factory visits which we are now making in S E Asia confirm these calls.Globally consumer appliances and electronics are down on average 40-50% year-on- year with large stocks still being held within the distribution channels, but more of that in a report next week.Asia, especially China, having become the manufacturing hub of the world, now has to carry the inventory volatility that the Old World used to bear. No decoupling here.Here are the numbers for the OECD Composite Leading Indicators.Country/Region             % Change


OECD Area                          -9

Major 5 Asia                    -11.9

Euro Area                          -9.5

Japan                               -9.6

Germany                         -12.3

Italy                                 -5.2

UK                                   -6.5

USA                                -10.4

Brazil                                -9.7

China                              -14.5

India                                -9.4

Russia                             -18.4

Simon Hunt was one of the founders, in 1975, of top metals analysis consultancy Brook Hunt, which still bears his name. He left at end-2005 to start up Simon Hunt Strategic Services which specialises in copper, global economics and China.  For further information please contact Simon Hunt at Simon Hunt Strategic Services on 0207 859111 or