Archive | December, 2013

The blog in 2013

The blog’s audience has continued to set new records in 2013.  It is now well on the way to its 200,000th visit, and is read in 159 countries and 6110 cities as shown in the chart above.  Readers also remain incredibly loyal, with around one in two readers visiting every week, and one in four readers visiting every day. […]

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Age range and income level key to future corporate profits

Every parent believes their children are above average – more beautiful and intelligent than anyone else’s.  Economists have a different mind-set in their work at least, as most focus on trying to identify the ‘average person’.  Biologists start from a different perspective again, as their research has led them to discover the concept of ’competing populations’. Which concept […]

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France’s pension age stays low, whilst New Old 55+ generation increases

France, with GDP of $2.6tn, is the 5th and final profile in the blog’s series on the impact of ageing populations on economic growth.  Its importance lies not just in the size of its economy, but also in the fact that its relationship with Germany has been the driving force behind the European Union and the Eurozone. France […]

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German New Olders have cash to spend, but few companies bother with their needs

Germany is the world’s 4th largest economy ($3.4tn), and so is the next to be studied in the blog’s series on the impact of demographics.  Its population is almost as old as Japan’s: Germany’s median age is 45.7 years, compared with Japan at 45.8 years.  The reason is shown in the chart above: German women have […]

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China auto sales could drop if lending squeeze continues

Imagine for a moment that you had become president or premier of China following the leadership transition in March.  You know that the country’s economic model has to change.  But you also know that you have to carefully develop your powerbase, whilst also putting in place new policies. Probably you would take things cautiously at […]

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“2 Steps and Then a Stumble”, as the Fed starts to taper

The most important event of the past week, and possibly of the whole year, was Wednesday’s decision by the US Federal Reserve to finally “taper” its vast stimulus effort – now worth $4tn, nearly 25% of US GDP. The timing was no great surprise.  The blog was convinced Ben Bernanke would want to start the process […]

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The trend is your friend, until it isn’t

Investing in today’s financial markets is relatively easy.  You simply have to believe that governments in the US, Japan and Europe will continue to provide plenty of free cash to investors as part of their Recovery Scenario of a quick return to ‘normal growth’.  It doesn’t matter whether the investor believes in the Scenario, the driver is simply the fear of […]

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Deflation far more likely than inflation

The last in the blog’s series on things that we think we know, but may not, looks at the prospects for inflation.  A new survey this week of the world’s wealthiest individuals summed up the consensus view: “If there are two factors that make the rich stand out, on this survey, it is their fear […]

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Demand now the key driver for future US petchem profitability

Will the US be able to sell all its planned new petchem volumes?  That is the 3rd topic in the blog’s series about critical areas where we all think we know what’s happening, but may end up being surprised. We all know that the US now has a major feedstock advantage versus Europe, Asia and Latin America due […]

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“Stagnation might prove to be the new normal” for the US

The blog returns today to its series on how demographic changes are impacting the 5 largest economies in the world.  Having looked at China and Japan in NEA, it now moves across the Pacific to the USA.  Like all the major economies, the US is now ageing fast as a consequence of the trends in the chart above: […]

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