Nobody can guess the outcome of the UK’s general election on 7 May. This is astonishing, as it is only 4 months away. Currently, it seems most unlikely that either of the main parties, Conservative or Labour, will be able to form a government on their own. Indeed, 7 different outcomes have been identified as possible by the […]
Tag Archives | UK
The blog’s 6-monthly review of global stock markets highlights the narrow nature of the advance since September 2008, when the blog first began analysing developments. It shows their performance since the pre-Crisis peak for each market, and the performance of the US 30-year Treasury bond. Remarkably, only the US, India, Germany and the UK stock markets […]
What happens to demand when women stop having lots of babies, and the general population starts living very much longer? Common sense would suggest economic growth would go through 2 quite remarkable changes: Phase 1. Growth would accelerate, as the population became concentrated in the wealth creating 25 – 54 age group, and the need […]
Many readers have asked to see how the UK economy is being impacted by its ageing population, following the blog’s December series on the US, China, Japan, Germany and France. As the chart shows, it is in a very similar position to all of these countries: Life expectancy has increased by 17% to 81 years today, from […]
Tomorrow sees the opening of the 3rd London Olympic Games. As promised, the blog today looks at the change in GDP per capita in the UK economy since the 2nd London Games in 1948 GDP per capita is the best measure of a country’s standard of living. It shows how the economy has grown, in […]
The OECD’s leading indicators for the global economy suggest that GDP growth is continuing to slow. As the above chart from the American Chemistry Council shows, the OECD’s three key indicators have all slipped from H1 2010′s peaks. The composite indicator (blue) has fallen sharply to +5% from +13%, whilst industrial production (red) is down […]
The UK has long had a tradition of two-party government, whereby the Labour party will alternate with the Conservatives. Thus Mrs Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979 for the Conservatives, and was followed by John Major. Then Tony Blair won for Labour in 1997, with Gordon Brown taking over two years ago. Now, however, this […]
The US consumer accounts for 16% of total global GDP, with a value of $10trn. By comparison, total Asian consumption is under $5trn. China’s consumption in 2008 was just $1.6trn, about equal to the UK. Changes in US consumer behaviour are therefore critical to global GDP, and hence to chemical demand. The chart above, from […]
Politicians and analysts often focus on selling dreams. Otherwise, we might not be tempted to buy their promises of better times ahead. But those running businesses have to remain realistic. BASF’s CEO, Jurgen Hambrecht, did exactly that in his comments on the outlook. And the above chart, from the UK’s National Institute of Economic and […]
Interesting new research from Prof Nouriel Roubini provides some perspective on relative levels of consumer spending around the world: • US private consumption accounted for 16% of total global output in 2008 • It was valued at $10trn, just ahead of European consumption at $9trn • Total Asian consumption was under $5trn • China’s consumption […]
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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.