The rebound in exchange traded funds following copper futures and miners is a good sign for the global economy although they remain slightly negative for 2011.

Copper experienced a healthy run last year as global economies began to recover. However, the commodity was weak earlier this year on debt problems in Europe and a slowdown in China’s economy.

The red metal is seen as a leading indicator for the global economy, so its recent bounce is an encouraging sign because copper has many construction and industrial applications.

The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper ETN (NYSEArca: JJC) is down 1.5% year-to-date, and First Trust ISE Global Copper (NasdaqGM: CU) is down 0.4% year-to-date.

The World Bureau of Metal Statistics calculated that the global copper market had a surplus of 74,100 tons in the first five months of the year, as compared to a 54,000 ton total surplus for 2010, reports Karen Norton for Reuters.

In a Reuters survey, the analysts projected, on average, copper prices for the year will be around $9,570 a ton, according to IOL Business. Current copper prices sit just above $9,600 a ton as investors weigh in on macro-economic sentiment from the Eurozone financial problems and concern over the U.S. debt-ceiling.

“With current base metal prices already reflecting strong growth prospects for the emerging economies, we expect macroeconomic developments in the U.S. and euro area to be increasingly important,” commented Benjamin Westmore, commodity economist at National Australia Bank.

Observers have also been keeping tabs on China, which accounts for around 40% of global demand.

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