It tells me the same thing, but it doesn't tell me where they expect economic growth. I'd bet on the BRICs or on Japan finally getting out of its long-term slump (or at least fully out of its post-Tsunami recession -- already signs of that with Toyota back ahead of GM as top auto manufacturuer) before I'd bet on the U.S. while Obama's in office.
It isn’t the case that every commodity bubble indicates future industrial demand.
And it isn’t the case that every stock market bubble indicates future increase in earnings LOL
The ‘price forecasting growth’ model is a bunch of hooey.
You need to look beyond the cost of a barrel of crude having only one indicator. It is far more complicated than that (supply/demand, which countries are stockpiling, who is hoarding hoping to unload it if it goes up because they know of some governmental activity that will cause a shortage). It is also directly tied to the dollar. So if the dollar is in the tank, crude goes up, and vice-versa. If you google for a graph overlaying the value of the dollar vs. the cost of a barrel for the past 20 years, you will see an almost perfect mirror image as the rise in one results in a decline in the other.
If you want a better vanguard, keep an eye on the Baltic Dry Shipment Index. It is in the tank, because no one plans on shipping anything, because no one plans on selling anything.