What’s the Word on the Sheet?

What’s the Word on the Sheet?

The graph below shows the usage of the words “recession” and “boom” in Lloyd’s List between the start of 1991 and the end of June 2013 (annualised). The number of times the words were used in that period was remarkably similar. “Recession” was used 6044 times, and “boom” 6617 times. The frequency of usage is very telling. Big old scary “recession” rushes out in big lumps during 1991 to 1993, and again in 2009 and 2010. “Boom”, on the other hand, sneaks up and is suddenly receiving lots of coverage in the mid-2000s.

Superimposed on this is my favourite index, the Clarksea Index created by Martin Stopford and the team at Clarkson Research. The use of the word “boom” followed the Clarksea Index upwards and even mirrored the dip of 2006. “Boom” continued to be used, maybe wistfully, following the crash of October 2008 and talk of “recession” came to the fore.

Which makes the tail of the graph harder to fathom. The Clarksea Index is currently below US$ 10,000/day, which is a very difficult place to be. But the shape of the usage of “boom” and “recession” is very similar to 2002 and 2003. Are the good times just around the corner?

boom recession and clarksea index



About Craig Jallal
A shipping analyst whose feels the need to comment on the industry.

One Response to What’s the Word on the Sheet?

  1. James Tweed says:

    Nice idea, but whilst I love the idea that the market might be able to literally talk itself into better times, it would be a mistake to imply causation from something that either is or looks likes like a correlation (especially when correlating to an index that is an average of an average with its own associated basis risk)

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