Greek auto sales have been racing ahead in recent weeks. They are up 16% so far this year, as people seek ways to protect their money in the event of Greece leaving the euro. April saw the strongest rise, with sales up an astonishing 47% versus 2014. As The Telegraph noted: “People living in a […]
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The above chart was my Chart of the Year last December, under the title “China’s auto sales bubble begins to burst‘. So it seems only sensible to update developments 6 months later. The key question, of course, is whether my headline was right? Could it be that China was not going to deliver endless growth […]
Around 1 in 3 of all babies born this year in the rich countries of the world are likely to live to be 100 years old. Its an astonishing change, when one remembers that life expectancy was just 34 years in the West only 200 years ago. UK data provides major insight into the opportunity […]
May was “another fantastic month for US auto sales”. Or, it took the industry “one month closer to an inevitable downturn”. All depends on which analyst you talk to: Ward’s Autos called May’s sales the best since July 2005 LMC Automotive suggested growth rates were slowing, and could possibly even contract next year It also depends […]
We all know that Europe has an ageing population. Germany and Italy, for example, have median ages of 45 years. And fertility rates have been below replacement levels for 45 years, so the relative number of higher-spending young people is reducing. Instead, there are more and more older people, as life expectancy at age 65 […]
200 years ago, most blog readers would have been dead at their current age. Life expectancy in the West was just 34 years in 1820, and averaged only 24 years everywhere else. Today, as the chart shows, Western life expectancy has risen to 79 years (red area). In the the emerging economies, it has nearly […]
Bill White’s important critique of the policies being followed by his former central bank colleagues echoes his warnings before the 2008 Crisis. One of his key points is that they have focused on manipulating the value of financial assets, ratehr than on developments in the real economy: “The price of financial assets, just think of Bunds […]
4 years ago, India could do no wrong. The ‘Incredible India’ campaign had captured imaginations around the world, and almost everyone seemed to believe that it was destined to become a major player in any market that it chose. Analysts were particularly excited about the potential for the auto market, with one major company suggesting: […]
The smartphone market has been one of the ‘jewels in the crown” of the consumer electronics market. Yet today, it is rushing headlong into the world of the New Normal. We can all learn a lot about the outlook for the global economy from watching its development. Until recently, the history was of astonishing growth, […]
Its hard to be optimistic about the outlook for the global auto market. The chart above of the Top 7 markets, which account for around 2/3rds of global sales, highlights the growing uncertainty. It shows Q1 sales in 2015 (blue column) versus 2014 (blue). Overall, these were up just 1.9% at 15.8m. And although the […]
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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.