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Global Industrial Growth Revival Ahead

"...the Journal of Commerce-Economic Cycle Research Institute industrial-prices index hit its 2010 high last Friday, just a hair under its record high from 2008.

Both indexes track the prices of industrial metals such as copper and lead, as well as cotton, hides and tallow. The Economic Cycle Research Institute's index also tracks plywood and red oak among its 18 components. Since roughly half of the index's components aren't traded on exchanges, the economic-forecasting institute polls producers on prices daily via telephone and email, said Lakshman Achuthan, its co-founder and chief operations officer.

With no agricultural or precious-metal components, the index isn't influenced by weather or speculation, he said, making it a more reliable near-term indicator of industrial growth. Tallow, for instance, is a key ingredient in industrial soap, so a surge in tallow use indicates companies are doing more cleaning.

"Global industrial growth is going to revive around the end of this year or early next year," Mr. Achuthan predicted..."