There was one bit of good news this week. For the first time since the financial crisis began, a Governor of the US Federal Reserve acknowledged that today’s demographic changes are having a major impact on the US economy. John Williams, of the San Francisco Fed, argued that: “Shifting demographics….(mean that) interest rates are going […]
Tag Archives | inflation
A paradigm shift is underway in global petrochemical and polymer markets, as I discuss in a new article for ICIS Chemical Business. Previously successful business models, based on the supply-driven principle, no longer work. As our new study, “Demand – the New Direction for Profit”, explains, companies now need to adopt demand-led strategies if they […]
This week’s economic data from Japan confirmed, once again, that demographic changes are far more important for the economy than monetary stimulus. Japan’s premier Abe took power in 2012, promising to end the decline in Japan’s economic growth. He appointed a new Governor for the Bank of Japan, and claimed that his “3 arrows policy” […]
Next week, I will publish my annual Budget Outlook, covering the 2016-2018 period. The aim, as always, is to challenge conventional wisdom when this seems to be heading in the wrong direction: The 2007 Outlook ‘Budgeting for a Downturn‘, and 2008′s ‘Budgeting for Survival’ meant I was one of the few to forecast the 2008 Crisis 2009′s ‘Budgeting […]
An amazing development is taking place in the world today. For the first time in human history, more people are joining the 55+ age group than the 25 – 54 age group: 600m people will be joining the New Old 55+ cohort between now and 2030, taking their numbers to 1.8bn This is twice the […]
More and more people are lining up to support our argument that central bank stimulus programmes are damaging the economy, not helping it. The latest is bond guru Bill Gross, who wrote yesterday: “Zero bound interest rates destroy the savings function of capitalism….(whilst companies) have plowed trillions into the financial economy as they buy back […]
Its not what we know that causes the major problems. Its what we think we know, but don’t. We know, for example, that markets balance supply and demand by shifting prices up and down. Too much demand and/or too little supply, will mean higher prices and inflation. This is what happened as the BabyBoom took place: Medical […]
One of the great myths of our time is that the world’s population is inevitably growing. Almost everyone has heard that the population is certain to reach 9bn by 2050, from today’s 7.3bn. Yet births in 2013 in the G7 economies (almost half of the global economy) were at the lowest level since the Great Depression year […]
Another week, and another record high for US oil inventories. Oil prices clearly have some way to go, before they return to being based on the fundamentals of supply and demand. Thankfully, the looking-glass world of $100/bbl prices has finally begun to shatter over the past 9 months. And we can expect prices to return to historical […]
The world is about to be hit by a demand shock equivalent to 1973′s supply shock. Yet, astonishingly, most commentators remain so focused on central bank activity, that they have completely missed what is happening. Here’s how it is playing out. You may remember the ‘The pH Report‘ forecast in early December that: “Oil prices […]
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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.