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Business models have to change as BabyBoom dividend ends

Major change is underway in the global economy: Global GDP has grown 10-fold over the past 60 years; life expectancy has risen by 20 years; average time in education has risen from 3 yeas to 8 years; 70% of the world now has access to the internet Today, the scale of technological change means 40% […]

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US jobs participation rate at 37-year lows

Yesterday’s US jobs report showed people are continuing to exit the workforce whilst earnings remained flat.  The key number is the participation rate, which measures the percentage of people who have a job.  As the chart above shows, this has now been falling for nearly 20 years: The peak rate for total employment was back in 1997, […]

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Fears of Austerity rise again, as Stimulus proves ineffective

Austerity is in the news again, as the Greek/Eurozone debt negotiations continue.  So it seems interesting to see how financial market sentiment has been moving with regard to the issues of austerity and stimulus.  The above chart is therefore modeled on the familiar IeC Boom/Gloom Index It shows the ratio of sentiment for Austerity versus […]

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The blog’s 8th birthday

It seems hard to imagine that the blog has now been running for 8 years. Today’s post is the 2195th to be published since it began on 22 June 2007, and as the map shows, it continues to be read all over the world, with the Top 10 countries being USA; UK; Germany; Singapore; India; […]

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US Cl2 Jun15

Demographic changes hit US chlorine and caustic soda demand

Its not all fun being part of the US millennial generation (those born between 1980 – 2000).  They number 80 million, about the same as the BabyBoomer generation.  But as the New York Times notes: “The millennial generation has less wealth and more debt than other generations did at the same age, thanks to student […]

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Impact of China’s New Normal policies on oil, petchem and financial markets – free pH Report webinar next Tuesday

China was the “saviour “of the global economy after the financial Crisis of 2008.  Its massive stimulus was worth over $10tn from 2009 to 2014 – half of the total amount. But now China’s new leadership has changed course, and has introduced its New Normal policies.  As a result, its economy is slowing, and its […]

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China’s lending, electricity consumption continues to slow

‘Bad news’ seems to have become ‘good news’ as far as China’s economy is concerned.  In the past, most analysts simply ignored the possibility of a major slowdown.  Now that the slowdown is underway, they still ignore it  - this time, because they are sure further stimulus is just around the corner. But time passes, […]

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Bank of Japan admits stimulus policy is modelled on Peter Pan

‘Peter Pan’ is one of the world’s most-loved children’s stories.But I hadn’t realised it had also become an economics textbook, at least in Japan.  Yet the Governor of the Bank of Japan (BoJ), Haruhiko Kuroda, described his stimulus policy last week as follows to an invited audience: “I trust that many of you are familiar with […]

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US margin debt hits record highs, whilst interest rates jump

Everyone knows that the US Federal Reserve will “never” let stock markets fall.  So it makes perfect sense for investors to borrow as much as they can, in order to chase the market higher.  It therefore is no surprise to see that borrowing to fund purchases on the New York Stock Exchange has reached a […]

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Why have US economic growth and inflation gone negative?

Chemistry & the Economy:  2015 Mid-Year Review Why did US GDP go negative, again, in Q1?  Why is the US seeing deflation rather than the expected inflation?  Is this really just due to bad winter weather? These are the questions I will discuss in my next ‘Chemistry & the Economy’ webinar for the American Chemical Society […]

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