News from this giant volcano suggests that the global economy is deteriorating – and the US may be to blame

The last time CNET reported on data from the Mauna Loa observatory, it painted a pretty bleak story for the global economy in April.

Located on the second largest volcano in the world, this observatory measures carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And the decline in the 12-month average year-over-year change in parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide preceded declines in economically sensitive commodities such as CL.1 oil,
-1.72%
and copper HG00,
-1.44%.

Now the news from the volcano is that the rate of carbon dioxide accumulation in June fell to levels typical of the start of the 2008 financial crisis.

Blog about political calculations using NOAA data


Sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine disrupted energy flows. At the beginning of the year, severe COVID-19 lockdowns in China affected activity in the world’s second largest economy. But now China has lifted many of these restrictions, and road congestion and port activity are on the rise.

So the blame for the latest downturn probably rests with the US economy. And that would be consistent with more conventional measures of economic activity. For example, the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow forecasts an annual decline of 1.6% in the second quarter.

“We believe the decline in June 2022 can be explained by lower economic activity elsewhere in the world,” said the Political Calculations blog, which regularly reports on the observatory’s data. “For example, there are strong indications that the US real economy contracted in the second quarter of 2022, which would offset the positive GDP growth of the Chinese economy in June 2022.

Elliot Frost

"Pop culture maven. Analyst. Writer. Wannabe food evangelist. Organizer. Friendly internet lover. Incurable troublemaker. Entrepreneur."

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