Boom, Gloom and the New Normal published today

New Normal logo.pngToday, the blog is proud to publish the first Chapter of its new eBook:

‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal: how Western BabyBoomers are changing global chemical demand patterns, again’

It is co-authored with ICIS’ John Richardson of Asian Chemical Connections.

A new chapter will be published each month. Please click here for Chapter 1. We hope this will help to build discussion about its key messages.

These are as follows:

• It is most unlikely that we will quickly return to the Golden Age of chemical consumption between 1990-2008
• This was driven by the enormous purchasing power of the Western BabyBoomers (those born between 1946-70)
• They were the richest, and largest generation that the world has ever seen. But they are now moving into the 55+ age group, when people typically save more and spend less
• This is already impacting key sources of chemical demand, including housing and autos. These will not recover to previous peaks
• Equally, the age of outsourcing production to the emerging economies is also coming to an end
• Western demand is reducing, not growing, so there are no longer any capacity constraints to be overcome
• Instead, Western and emerging economies need to adapt to the New Normal, and its very different demand patterns

The eBook argues that the next wave of global growth will not be a simple replica of the past 25 years. Instead, it will require major innovation in business models and technology.

The industry will need to develop a sustained focus on key megatrends such as increasing food supplies, water availability and life expectancy, whilst reducing carbon footprint.

These represent major challenges. But the industry faced similar challenges in the 1970′s, and overcame them to launch the Golden Age.

We hope the new eBook will prove valuable for everyone currently working in the global chemical industry. Please click here to download a free copy of Chapter 1. John and I look forward to your comments.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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