Archive | February, 2013

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EU auto sales fall again, as young people lose interest in cars

Europe’s auto association (ACEA) has joined India’s in worrying about likely future sales levels. As the chart shows, it reports volumes “reached a historic low for the month of January (red square)”. Even German sales were down 8.6% versus 2012. Whilst the downturn in Spain’s econony meant its 47m people bought fewer cars than Belgium’s […]

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Russia’s growth stalls in 2012, as new capacity comes online

The blog’s annual review of the Russian market showed production growth stalled in 2012. Output had picked up sharply in 2010-11 following the 2009 crisis. But as the chart shows, based on latest data from statistics agency Rosstat, today’s outlook has become more difficult. As always, the blog is grateful to ICIS’ Sergei Blagov for […]

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IMF warns on potential for China decline

The blog is awarding itself and co-author John Richardson a pat on the back today, for its pioneering insight into the major changes underway in China’s economy due to the ‘one child policy’. As the chart above shows, China’s economy after 25 years of industrialisation is now in a labour-intensive stage – which will be […]

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The end of the Central Bank bubble may now be very close

“Everybody knows” that full economic recovery is inevitable. And today, everybody absolutely knows that it must now be very close. After all, it has now been 4 years since the crisis began. This expectation is understandable, as anybody who began work from 1983 onwards has only ever known constant growth. There might have been the […]

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John Karlin, inventor of all-digit dialing, dies at 94

Do you find it easier to use the keypad on your phone or your calculator? If the phone, then you are in good company. Most people prefer the numbers to start logically at the top, rather than searching for them at the bottom. Therefore the blog would like to pay tribute to the man responsible […]

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Pension risks growing as pretence continues “all will be well”

We all hope to live long enough to receive a pension. But few of us have any real idea of how much money is needed to fund our retirement. Many happily assume that savings of $250k, for example, will easily fund round-the-world travel and major home improvements, whilst also providing plenty of spending money each […]

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India autos Feb13.png

India’s auto sales drop as onion prices rocket

Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment. That seems to be the learning from developments in India’s economy in recent years. Its car sales provide a good illustration of the problem, as the above chart shows: • Sales took off in 2010-11, as stimulus measures supported the ‘Incredible India’ media hype • But by 2012 (green line) […]

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Global PE trade data shows little room for major US expansion

The blog is constantly astonished by the lack of interest in many companies in the vital field of trade data. No business today, no matter how large and well-connected, can possibly hope to understand market developments without constant analysis of this data. Ironically, the lack of interest comes at a time when the quality and […]

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Chlorine, caustic soda, suggest 2013 demand remains slow

The blog tips its hat today to the International Energy Agency, whose oil research director, Antoine Halff, confirmed its own long-held view that the “recent run-up in prices will rekindle questions about the interplay of financial and fundamental factors in oil markets“, and warned explicity that “Brent prices can be misleading“. Unfortunately, however, any action […]

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EU PVC Feb13.png

Chlorine, caustic soda, suggest 2013 demand remains slow

The blog tips its hat today to the International Energy Agency, whose oil research director, Antoine Halff, confirmed its own long-held view that the “recent run-up in prices will rekindle questions about the interplay of financial and fundamental factors in oil markets“, and warned explicity that “Brent prices can be misleading“. Unfortunately, however, any action […]

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