William White was the only central banker to publicly warn of the risks to the world economy long before the Crisis, when he was chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements (the central bankers’ bank). He also warned of the problems that would be caused by their stimulus programmes as early as September 2009. A blog […]
Tag Archives | inflation
Question: Why will Starbucks reduce the menu price for its venti green-tea frappucino in Japan next Tuesday, when the price is actually going up? Answer: Because the government hopes the lower menu price will fool people into thinking the price has gone down It is, of course, a nonsense. And no doubt most Japanese will be quite annoyed that […]
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 […]
The last in the blog’s series on things that we think we know, but may not, looks at the prospects for inflation. A new survey this week of the world’s wealthiest individuals summed up the consensus view: “If there are two factors that make the rich stand out, on this survey, it is their fear […]
The mention of deflation in the above front page headline of Friday’s Financial Times will not have surprised blog readers. But it appears that not enough people in the European Central Bank read the blog, as the FT went on to report the ECB’s sense of ”shock” at the thought that deflation could now be just around the corner. This highlights the enormous […]
China’s leaders have a lot to worry about. The purge of Bo Xilai has now been followed by news of his wife being suspected of murder. This makes the run-up to October’s leadership transition even more difficult. Only 3 months ago, Bo was being tipped by some to join the Politburo, and even to become […]
China’s economy is slowing rather fast. That’s the only conclusion to be drawn from the above chart. It shows a major collapse in producer price inflation (PPI), from July’s 7.5% peak to just 2.7% in November. The decline from September’s 6.5% level has been particularly dramatic, with the index down nearly 2/3rds in just 2 […]
China’s growth in electricity consumption is a much better guide to its economic growth than the published GDP figures. This was confirmed by likely next premier, Li Keqiang. It has been a major reason for the blog’s long-standing focus on this key area. The problem with GDP is that it is a target for local […]
China’s auto market has gone ex-growth, as the above chart shows. Monthly sales in July (red square) were the 2nd lowest since July 2010. The problem is the continuing fall-out from the end of China’s great credit bubble. Inflation hit a new high of 6.5% in July. More importantly, food prices rose by 14.8%, up […]
Since Q4 2008, China has been creating one of the largest credit bubbles in history. First, it doubled bank lending to $1.4trn in 2009 (one third of GDP), and then maintained it close to this level. Secondly, it added a stimulus package worth another 13% of GDP ($580bn), focused on providing cheap electrical goods and […]
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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.