The blog is now close to celebrating its 150,000th visit. Its readership also continues to grow and it is now read in 146 countries. Readers remain very loyal, with 50% visiting every week and 28% visiting on a daily basis. The main event of the year has been the completion of its eBook, ‘Boom, Gloom […]
Archive | December, 2012
The wrong diagnosis can often make the problem worse not better, as doctors know very well. But the message hasn’t got across to policy makers. They refuse to believe that ageing populations spend less and save more – even though all the evidence confirms this commonsense observation. So instead, they have convinced themselves the world […]
Merryn Somerset Webb, editor-in-chief of Money Week and also a Financial Times columnist, has devoted her latest post to the implications of the ageing Western population: “I can’t be sure of much about next year. But here’s one fact you can’t argue with: 2013 will be the year that we get old. “How’s that? 2013, […]
In January, the blog suggested that political issues would continue to gain increased importance. Its argument was that the strong economy between 1982-2007, when the US suffered just 16 months of recession, meant political and social issues took a back seat. Money was easily available to ‘solve’ most problems. Since then the global economy has […]
Auto sales continue to struggle in 3 of the world’s main markets. The chart shows combined sales by month in China, US, EU, Japan and India. These were 76% of global demand in 2011. Overall, volume is up 6% versus last year: • China’s sales are up 7% at 13.1m, as its economy remains slow […]
China’s new leaders have made a good start. Its too early to say whether they will really tackle the key issues, but the change in style is noteworthy in itself: • New premier Li Keqiang made his first official trip to Shenzhen, visiting the statue of Deng Xiaoping along with new president Xi Jinping • […]
Over the past 4 years, 18 men (no women are involved) have run the global response to the financial crisis, as politicians refused to take a lead. Instead, the world’s leading central bankers felt forced to establish their own Economic Consultative Committee (ECC). They represent countries comprising 75% of the global economy ($51tn). They now […]
Oil prices are heading for a second successive year of record annual prices. Last year, Brent averaged $111/bbl and it is averaging similar levels so far in 2012. History suggests this is very bad news for consumers, for companies and for the global economy. The reason is that consumers in most major economies are now […]
The blog’s regular Chemistry & the Economy webinar with the American Chemical Society (ACS) takes place today at 14.00 hours Eastern Time. As always, it will be moderated by friend and colleague Bill Carroll – chair of the ACS and Vice President of Occidental Chemical. Today’s webinar will look back over 2012, and highlight the […]
Changing demographics are leading to major growth in robot development in both Japan and China: • In Japan, the ageing population means there is a shortage of people to do the heavy lifting required when people become ill • Equally important, as shown in the above Financial Times video, is the role of innovation in […]
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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.