The world’s largest commodity miner BHP Billiton is out with quarter and year-ending numbers this evening.
The numbers are good, but this comment picked up by the Sydney Morning Herald is interesting:
BHP Billiton continues to be cautious on the short term outlook for the global economy. Uncertainty surrounds the near term prospects for growth in the developed world as governments adjust fiscal policies following a period of significant stimulus and subsequent increase in sovereign debt levels. Within China, measures introduced to reduce growth to more sustainable levels means volatility in commodity end-demand is likely to persist. BHP Billiton sees these measures as a normal continuation of China’s economic management policies.
The full quarter and year-end results can be found on this page. The year-end results, in particular, delve deep into commodity-by-commodity numbers, so you may certainly be interested in taking some time with it.
Bottom line though: Fiscal tightening will mean a slowing economy. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea, and for the long-term it may be absolutely necessary. But it will clearly cause pain.
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