The cost of shipping has been falling over the past six months, indicating that the global economy has slowed down, Reuters reports. The Baltic Dry Index shipping cost indicator has fallen by 47% since the summer of 2018. Baltic Dry takes into account the transportation of goods such as iron ore and coal, which are used in the production of steel and electricity. The decline in the index signals a downturn in the global economy. Container shipments are tracked by the Harpex Shipping Index. Its value has fallen by a third since June 2018. The indicator shows the level of demand for the transportation of goods from producers to consumers, so it is also important for analyzing the current situation. Low rates indicate weaker production in Asia, Europe and North America. The level of business activity in the EU has already fallen at the beginning of the year. European companies reported a minimum increase in production in more than five years and the first decline in demand in four years.