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Brexit: Automation Could Replace Many UK Jobs

As immigration declines, labour costs are set to rise. Companies could thus shut down, leave Britain or invest in more automation if they decide to stay in the UK By John Richardson THE BRITISH town of Slough has an unemployment rate of 1.4% compared with a nationwide average of 4.7%, with the town’s average weekly […]

Brexit, US-China Trade Talks: Time Is Running Out

By John Richardson BY MARCH 2019, Britain needs to have successfully negotiated the terms of Brexit – and be certain that when the clock stops ticking the terms of the deal will work in practice. And the task of hitting this already ambitious deadline has just been made even harder by the snap General Election British […]

US Economy Returns To Weak Growth On Demographics

By John Richardson THE US is a deeply politically divided country to the point where the divisions are having a profound effect on consumer confidence. As the New York Times writes: Among Republicans, the University of Michigan consumer expectations index was at 61.1 in October, the kind of reading typically reported in the depths of a […]

Credit, Commodities And China: History May Soon Repeat Itself

By John Richardson YOU should be getting that strong feeling that history might be about to repeat itself when you look at the January-February data on China’s petrochemicals markets. In polypropylene (PP), polyethylene, styrene, mono-ethylene glycol, phenol and acetone, the ICIS reading of China Customs data indicates big year-on-year increases in imports – way ahead of what the […]

Trump-Xi Summit Highlights What’s At Stake For US Petchems

By John Richardson THE above chart, showing US linear-low density polyethylene (LLDPE) expansions and rising surpluses, is just one jigsaw piece of only one global manufacturing chain that could be completely reshaped by the Trump administration’s approach to free trade. This approach is today under the spotlight as President Trump and President Xi Jinping of […]

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