We now have full US Census Bureau data for housing starts in 2014, which shows: Starts returned to the 1m level for the first time since 2007 They were also nearly double the low of 554k seen in 2009 But at 1.006m, they were less than half of the 2.068m peak in 2005 The data also […]
Tag Archives | unemployment
The bursting of the US energy bubble is looking more and more like a replay of the sub-prime bubble in 2008. As investor Warren Buffett has noted, “its only when the tide goes out, that you learn who has been swimming naked .” And nearly a year ago, former central banker William White warned the problems in the global economy were: “Worse […]
US job markets have been very difficult since the Crisis began in 2008. In the past, it has typically taken 30 months for employment levels to return to their previous peak. But this time, it took until last September for the US to finally recapture the 139 million jobs peak of November 2007. The trend in the […]
Financial markets today only care about one thing - whether central banks will continue to provide more low-cost financing to support higher asset prices. Thus markets liked last Friday’s weak US jobs report. They hoped that the US Federal Reserve would slow its tapering process as a result. This inverted logic explains why bad news for the […]
The good news about EU auto sales, as the chart shows, is that they have stabilised above last year’s record low levels: Sales in the January – May period were up 7% (red square) versus 2013 (green line) at 5.4 million Sales in May itself were up 5% versus 2013 at 1.1m Sales have risen […]
The above chart from the excellent American Chemistry Council (ACC) weekly report may look a bit baffling at first. But it is worth attention, as it highlights the current state of the industry in real time: It shows US chemical shipments on the vertical axis, and change in inventory on the horizontal axis Both are shown […]
There are two ways to approach last Friday’s monthly release of the US jobs figures: One is the Wall Street way, which is to bet on whether the numbers will be bad enough to persuade the Federal Reserve to boost its money printing operations The other is to look for clues as to what is […]
The blog’s latest post for the Financial Times FT Data blog is below. September 20, 2013 2:47 pm by FT Whilst the number of working women in the UK continues to rise, since 2009 their total earnings have been falling in real terms. With consumer spending contributing to roughly 60 per cent of the UK […]
June has typically been the seasonal peak for US employment. July’s data continued this trend, as the chart shows: The July figure was 135.6m, compared to 136.8m in June (blue column) It is still well below 2007′s peak of 139.1m This is the first time jobs have been lower over a 4 year period since records began in […]
Last week saw more evidence that recent weakness in chemical markets mirrors developments in the global economy. Of course, given the bullish mood amongst investors, these signs were still treated as being ‘surprises’. This is perhaps inevitable when trading is dominated by the computers owned by the high-frequency traders, rather than people. Computers can be […]
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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.