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 […]
Tag Archives | unemployment
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 […]
October is usually one of the 4 strongest months for demand, alongside January, March and May. This year it should be particularly strong, as many say September’s demand was the weakest they can remember. The reason it is normally strong is that companies shoukd be racing to fulfil orders for the Christmas season. Factories often […]
The US jobs market remains very fragile. That seems to be the key message from last week’s monthly job statistics. And, of course, if jobs are hard to get, then consumer spending and GDP will remain weak. The chart shows the monthly jobs trend since 2008: • The number of jobs dived to 134.4m by […]
Friday’s weak US jobs report seemed to surprise most of those Wall Street analysts who are supposed to understand this key subject. The reason is that they ignore the major demographic changes now underway. The chart above shows official US employment numbers since 1939 (blue column) and per capita disposable income since 1969 (red line), […]
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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.