We are living in very uncertain times. Major wars are underway in Ukraine and Middle East. And the concept of ‘Business as Usual’ is returning to the 1970s model – of disruption and military conflicts.
Chemicals and the Economy
Demand patterns are now changing rapidly. We now have a demographic deficit, rather than a dividend. And the peace dividend has also disappeared.
These changes in demand patterns are not just impacting Apple and the smartphone market. They are already impacting suppliers to the market. And they are also starting to impact a vast range of other major consumer markets.
The mobility market is repeating the transformation seen a century ago when cars replaced stagecoaches. Autos are the world’s largest manufacturing industry, employing millions of people directly and in supply chains. Those companies that learn to ride the wave will likely be very successful for years to come.
The growing disruption in the Suez and Panama Canals is set to encourage more companies to move to ‘local for local’ supply chains. These are not only more resilient, but also make firms more agile – and reduce their carbon emissions.
These paradigm shifts are coming at the same time as the loss of the peace and demographic dividends. They are taking our world in a new direction. The likely Winners will be those companies and investors who focus on becoming demand-led.
The next few years are therefore likely to be very different from anything that we have known in our working lives. Scenario planning is therefore essential in the face of this uncertainty.
Demographics are taking demand patterns in completely new directions. Sustaining future growth now depends on successfully developing and implementing new policies, focused on the opportunities offered by the emergence of the Perennials 55+ cohort. Demographics are taking demand patterns in completely new directions. Sustaining future growth now depends on successfully developing and implementing new policies, focused on the opportunities offered by the emergence of the Perennials 55+ cohort.
China and most Middle-Income countries seem destined to grow old before they become rich. As Pew Foundation data shows, China had just 23m people who earned more than $50/day in $2011. India has only 2m.
For the past 15 years, since the Global Financial Crisis, central banks have claimed they could generate demand and economic growth via stimulus. Some $73tn of spending later, it is finally becoming clear to some of them, at least, that they can’t.
Now, we all have to start picking up the pieces of the problems they have created.