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China’s auto slowdown to push spare capacity into export markets

Where would the world’s auto industry, and its suppliers, have been without China in recent years?  And how will they manage now China’s demand for new cars is slowing fast?  These are the question troubling companies and investors as Q3 sales are analysed. The chart above shows the recent history of sales in the Top […]

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1bn people joining New Old 55+ mean pension promises turn sour

How long is it before you expect to receive a pension?  How much do you hope it is going to be?  These are key questions for all of us.  And, of course, they are key for companies as well.  They can only sell to people who need – and can afford – their products and […]

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Cash poor, time rich US consumers cause retail sales to plateau

US retail sales have failed to see the rise that most economists, and the US Federal Reserve, confidently forecast at the beginning of the year.  The theory was that lower oil prices would stimulate discretionary spending, and ensure that the long-promised economic recovery finally arrived. But September sales were up just 0.1% versus August, and […]

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China focuses on mobile internet for domestic growth

China’s President Xi went to Seattle at the start of his recent US visit, to meet the leading US internet companies.  It was the clearest possible signal of his priorities for the future of China’s economy under his New Normal policies.  He spent half a day on the Microsoft campus, and had a private dinner […]

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Auto sales downturn begins, as Top 7 markets plateau

Slowly but surely, it is becoming clear that the world’s auto market has reached its ‘peak car‘ moment.  One key piece of evidence is the above chart, which slows how volume growth has now plateaued in the Top 7 markets, as the Great Unwinding of policymaker stimulus continues: It shows the 12 month moving average […]

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China’s smartphone market goes ex-growth as costs fall to $20

China has the highest smartphone penetration in the world at 62%.  It had 632m mobile subscribers, with 70% of new connections based on 4G connections.   But sales actually fell in Q2 by 4%.  This was the first time they have ever fallen and is further confirmation of the major change taking place in China under […]

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FT

Older people are being forced to spend less

The Financial Times has kindly printed my letter below, commenting on the change taking place in demand patterns as a result of ageing populations. Sir, It was interesting to see the UK’s employment and pension ministers reminding FT readers that “by 2022, there will be 3.7m more people aged between 50 and state pension age […]

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Speculators exit London’s high-price property developments

London house prices are one of the major faultlines in the debt-fuelled Ring of Fire created by central banks stimulus policies: It is crazy to have created a situation where potential buyers are asked to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds to buy even very basic apartments in unfashionable area It is complete madness that […]

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GM says owning a car in a city “is the last thing you should do”

Something strange is happening in the European auto market, as the above chart from the industry association shows: Normally there are seasonal patterns, with March seeing the highest sales of the year But the trend of increase or decline is normally fairly stable in either direction This year, however, both March and now June have […]

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H1 auto sales fall 2% in Top 7 markets, as BRIJ sales drop 15%

Hi data for auto sales in world’s top 7 markets is confirming my suggestion last October that global auto sales had reached their “top of the mountain moment“.  Total volume was down 2.1% versus 2014, with sales in Russia and Brazil showing major downturns.  As the chart shows, the sales decline is focused on the […]

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