As promised, the blog looks today at the business implications of population ageing and slower economic growth. The chart shows official US household expenditure data, by category. The overall message is clear: spending peaks by the age of 55 years, and then falls away quite sharply as people age. This matters because household consumption is […]
Tag Archives | new normal
“You cannot just sit back and expect things to happen the way they have happened in the past, especially in emerging markets.” This insight from a senior Hong Kong-based executive with a global polyethylene (PE) producer highlights the risks faced by the global industry as we transition to the New Normal. As he added during […]
Slowly, consumer companies are waking up to the fact that youth markets have gone ex-growth in the developed world. Instead, the New Old 55+ generation are the main potential source of growth. As fashion editor Vanessa Friedman notes, a new film ‘About Face’ typifies the new approach. It interviews supermodels – but these supermodels are […]
The G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA) account for nearly 50% of global GDP. Today, however, their populations are ageing rapidly. As consultants AT Kearney (ATK) note in a report on consumer spending patterns: • The G7 now has more people over the age of 55 than under 15 years • Global […]
The chart above opens chapter 7 of ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal’, which looks at the changes taking place in consumer markets. June’s US retail sales provide clear evidence of the trends it describes: • They grew at the slowest pace in 2 years, despite falling gasoline prices • Mid-market stores suffered the biggest […]
The chart above should be of great interest to anyone who hopes to retire on a pension. It should also be required reading for any executives planning their business portfolio for the future. Published by the Financial Times, it shows the actual performance of pension funds in selected OECD countries since 2001: • The blue […]
The blog today celebrates its fifth birthday. Its 1400 posts since the June 2007 launch have covered a wide range of subjects. And one thing is certainly true. There has never been a shortage of topics to cover. Readership has also continued to grow very steadily. As the map shows, the blog is now read […]
We are about to set out on a great journey as the world transitions to the New Normal. The reason for the journey is that the world economy has changed irrevocably as a result of the financial crisis and the demand changes created by the aging of the Western BabyBoomers. There is no going back. […]
The new chapter of our free ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal’ ebook sets out a road map to success for companies in the New Normal. It also identifies 5 key areas where major change is already underway. Demand-driven. Markets have essentially been supply-driven in recent decades, with growth being forecast on the basis of […]
Globalisation had a golden age between 1982-2007. Trade barriers fell almost everywhere. Companies focused on achieving a ‘lowest cost’ position, in order to maximise their competitive advantage. Today, however, the world is starting to look quite different. The chart above summarises the changes underway. It shows US polyethylene net trade (PE) since 2009, based on […]
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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.