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From Jiang to Hu and the lost decade

President Jiang Zemin inherited a difficult economic and political situation when taking power in 1993, as did Deng in 1977 and  current president Xi last year.  Jiang had to set in motion China’s second economic cycle of the post-Mao era, or risk seeing the country fall back into poverty and the political turmoil of another Cultural Revolution. Similarly today, […]

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Deng’s economic policy in China’s post-Mao period

China’s economic policy has gone through 2 complete cycles since Chairman Mao’s death is 1976.  Under new president Xi, it now seems to be about to start a 3rd cycle.  If this cycle follows the pattern of the previous cycles, it will have very major implications for anyone doing business with China, either directly or […]

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You can’t print babies to create new demand

What would you have done 5 years ago, in 2009, if you had been given $16tn to restore global economic growth? Would you have boosted spending in areas such as education, health and infrastructure in the belief this would create a sustained boost to economic capability?  Would you have cut taxes in order to encourage entrepreneurs to develop new businesses and promote […]

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The trend is your friend until it isn’t – part 2

“May you live in interesting times” is a Chinese proverb which has an alternative meaning as a curse.  And the blog suspects this duality of meaning may start to make a lot of sense as we go through 2014. We have, after all, been in a very strange world for the past 5 years.  Markets […]

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EU CPI Jan14

Deflation gets closer in Europe, USA and China

Demographics drives demand.  If it doesn’t, then its hard to think what does.  So forecasting economic growth depends on two key variables: If you have lots of young people in your adult population, then you should have fast growth If you have lots of older people, then you will be lucky to have any growth […]

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“The policy Kings/Queens have no clothes”

There seems almost no need to publish a forecast for 2014.  Policymakers have toured the TV studios to confirm that this is finally the year of recovery.  They admit it may have taken nearly 5 years longer than first expected, and that there have been numerous ‘false dawns’ on the way.  But now, they are certain that […]

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Global economy approaches a T-junction

Intuition’s great benefit is that it provides a different perspective.  Thus the intuitive concept behind the launch of the IeC Downturn Monitor was that April 2011 would prove a watershed moment for policymakers’ Recovery Scenario after 2008′s financial crisis.  Their Scenario essentially had two elements: Acting as a ‘lender of last resort’ when the major banks stopped lending to each other and the […]

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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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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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