Here’s some possibly good news: Lakshmi Mittal, the CEO of steel giant Arcelor Mittal, believes Q1 will represent the bottom for global demand. The company just reported its first-ever net loss, after a $4.4 billion writedown, but it believes that emerging markets will help revive demand in the second half.
The market has been expecting some kind of recovery in raw material demand, as evidenced by firming oil prices, rising shipping prices, and strength in key industrial commodities. Much of it may be stimulus spending, like the huge public works initiatives in China, which may not necessarily revive flagging private sector growth.
And of course, predicting a recovery is far from the same thing as recovery. Right now it’s all speculation and talk — talk from a company that has an interest in seeing things improve.