Are you a typical employee in the chemical industry (aged in your 30s or 40s)? Have you noticed that you spend rather more money than your parents? Then you may have spotted the reason for the more difficult economic conditions that your company is now encountering. There is little doubt about the seriousness of the […]
Tag Archives | baby-boom generation
The chemical industry is a well-known leading indicator for the global economy. This is because our products are used in so many applications around the world. The above chart of global capacity utilisation, from the American Chemistry Council, paints a subdued picture. In May, capacity utilisation was actually lower than in May last year, at […]
Between 1854 and 1982, the US economy was in recession for 35% of the time, according to Deutsche Bank research. But between November 1982 and December 2007, as the chart shows, it was only in recession for 5% of the time, just 16 months in 25 years. Something very unusual clearly happened during this period. […]
We face more uncertainty today than I have ever seen over the past 30 years. Will last year’s strong performance in terms of profit continue? Or will higher oil prices ruin the party? Might China’s demand slow, as the government there worries about rising inflation? How will European demand be impacted as governments switch from […]
Consumer spending is 70% of US GDP. And because US GDP is so large, this means the US consumer is 17% of global GDP. This is the same as the combined GDP of China and Japan, who rank 2 and 3 after the USA. So a change in US consumer spending matters. And it particularly […]
The end of a major trend is usually marked by a significant increase in volatility. This seems to be what is happening to the equity bull market that began back in 1982. It has weathered a number of storms over the years, as traders kept faith with the underlying trend. But this week’s Barrons, 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 as 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.