The New Old 55+ generation is the key demographic for future consumer spending. Their numbers are rising rapidly as global life expectancy has risen by 50% since 1950. Over the same period, global fertility rates have halved. So there will be fewer younger people joining the wealth-creator generation of 25 – 54 year-olds that has historically driven economic […]
Tag Archives | consumer spending
Today is Mid-Autumn Festival day in China, held to celebrate the harvest. Traditionally it features the exchange of moon cakes filled with lotus paste and egg yolks, whilst children go to lantern parades. But in recent years, it has also become synonymous with corruption. Silver moon cakes, as pictured above, became a common gift for […]
We are now two-thirds of the way through 2014, and critical decisions are looming for companies and investors. Do they give central banks one more chance to stimulate growth? And are they prepared to trust policymakers to avoid a major geopolitical crisis in the Ukraine? Or do they decide that ‘enough is enough’, and that […]
As promised yesterday, the blog looks today at the impact of today’s high prices on oil consumption growth. As the chart, based on BP data shows, the ‘easy money’ policies of the central banks have only partially mitigated the impact of the oil price rally since 2009. Consumption growth has not fallen to the 0.8%/year level […]
Every now and then, the blog scratches its head and wonders, “what would it take to convince US policymakers that demographics have an influence on demand?” Suppose, for example, they loudly and consistently announced that the US was now in full recovery mode, and would be certain to achieve economic growth of 3% or more? And that then, growth […]
The ageing BabyBoomers are now leaving the suburbs in large numbers, and moving back to the cities, as the blog discussed in October. Thus as the Wall Street Journal reports, housing needs are changing quite dramatically. The main growth area for housing is now in high-rise apartment towers built for rent: “The growth in new rental […]
Its not just the UK that is seeing an earthquake taking place in consumer demand patterns, as the blog discussed last week. The same earthquake is taking place in the world’s largest consumer market, the USA. As the Wall Street Journal reports: “For the past three years running, unit sales of consumer products have been […]
Do you recognise any of these women? Pictured in an excellent Financial Times article they are (left to right), New York Style icon Iris Apfel; model and actress Marisa Berenson; model and actress Lauren Hutton; fashion designer Jenny Kee; actress Meryl Streep. Nothing difficult about that you may say - even if, like the blog, you remember […]
This is Budget week, when the blog prepares to present its Budget Outlook for 2014-16. On Saturday, it reviewed its 2012 forecast. And starting tomorrow, it will analyse auto markets – as these are the largest single driver of demand - before issuing its 2014 Outlook next Saturday. The chart above presents the dilemma facing companies, […]
Markets have moved into summer holiday mode in recent weeks whilst they wait for a new direction, as the chart shows. It is therefore timely to look back over developments since the start of the year: The S&P 500 (purple) has been the clear winner, up 15%. The key to its out-performance has been the central […]
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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.