The world’s 4 main central bankers love being in the media spotlight. After decades climbing the academic ladder, or earning millions with investment banks, they have the opportunity to rule the world’s economy – or so they think. But their background is rather strange preparation to take on this role – even if it was […]
Tag Archives | demographics
2015 data is now available for births in the G7 countries, responsible for almost 50% of global GDP. It confirms the picture of a steadily aging population. This has enormous implications for the economy, as older people already own most of what they need, and their incomes decline as they move into retirement. As the […]
Employment income is critical for most Americans and for the US economy. The above chart shows how the key factor - the participation rate - has changed since records began in 1948. It shows July data, to avoid the need for seasonal adjustment, split by Men, Women and Total: □ Last month’s Total rate was 63.4%, versus the […]
First, the good news. It has long been recognised that the UK economy is over-dependent on financial services, and that its housing market – particularly in London – is wildly over-priced in relation to earnings. The Brexit vote should ensure that both these problems are solved: Many banks and financial institutions are already planning to […]
200 years ago, most blog readers would have been dead at their current age. Life expectancy in the West was just 34 years in 1820, and averaged only 24 years everywhere else. Today, as the chart shows, Western life expectancy has risen to 79 years (red area). In the the emerging economies, it has nearly […]
Too many policymakers, companies and investors are continuing to ignore the dramatic changes taking place in the age profile of the global population. Yet common sense tells us these must have a major impact on the economy. The impact comes from 2 equally important developments: One is the rise in the number of people in the New […]
The blog’s analysis about the inevitability of slowing demand and deflation was warmly received at Euromoney’s latest Global Bond Investors’ Congress. Far fewer of this year’s attendees still believed that central banks could return the Western economy to SuperCycle growth levels. Thus its concept of the 3 Normals received a most enthusiastic response. This week has seen even greater interest develop […]
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 […]
As promised yesterday, the blog today looks at the wider impact of the major changes underway in housing markets. Driven by the ageing BabyBoomers these changes are, in effect, like throwing a series of large stones into the middle of a pool of water – the ripples spread wider and wider as the impact grows. One key […]
One good thing may come out of the current excitement over the US ethylene expansions being discussed on the basis of shale gas developments. Boards may decide to look at seriously at the way yesterday’s ‘demographic dividend’ has now become today’s ‘demographic deficit’. That would be a major step forward for the US and 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.