Today, we have “lies, fake news and statistics” rather than the old phrase “lies, damned lies and statistics”. But the general principle is still the same. Cynical players simply focus on the numbers that promote their argument, and ignore or challenge everything else. The easiest way for them to manipulate the statistics is to ignore […]
Tag Archives | recession
2016 data highlights one startling statistic about the world’s Top 7 auto markets. They are 85% of total world sales and as the chart shows, their overall sales growth since 2007 has been entirely due to China: China’s sales have risen nearly four-fold since 2007, from 6.3m to 24.2m Sales in […]
Chemical industry flags rising risk of global recession in 2017, with Trump set to “clear the decks” at the start of his first term
The chemical industry is the best leading indicator that we have for the global economy. It has an excellent correlation with IMF data, and also benefits from the fact it has no “political bias”. It simply tells us what is happening in real-time in the world’s 3rd largest industry. Sadly, the news is not good. […]
The chemical industry is the best leading indicator for the global economy, and it is flagging major warning signs about the outlook for 2017. As the chart above shows, based on American Chemistry Council (ACC) data: Since 2009, Capacity Utilisation (CU%) has never returned to the 91.3% averaged between 1987 – 2008 It […]
Will 2014 turn out to be a repeat of 2008 for the US economy? 6 years ago, after all, not a single mainstream forecaster – including the IMF and World Bank – was forecasting a recession. Even in September 2008, the consensus was still confident about the economic outlook. Yet the National Bureau for Economic Research […]
Milton Friedman received a Nobel Prize for economics in 1976, partly on the basis of his analysis that ‘inflation is everywhere and always a monetary phenomenon’. It sounds an appealing insight, but of course it is wrong. The reason is that it confuses cause and effect. The above chart presents a different view, highlighting the […]
So this is as good as it gets in 2013. That seems to be the sad conclusion from analysis of Q3 operating rate (OR%) data for Europe’s crackers. Actual Q3 OR% inched up to 81%, which was slightly better than 2012’s 80% rate and 2009’s 79% rate. But its a very long way from the […]
The blog was speaking last week at the major Euromoney investor conference on bond markets. It followed a keynote by the head of the UK’s Debt Management Office, who noted that the Bank of England now ‘owned’ ~30% of total UK government debt compared to none in 2008 The reaction to his speech revealed just how investor […]
China’s economy is continuing to slow, as the new leadership takes power. As the chart shows of H1 performance: Electricity consumption (red line) was up 5% versus H1 2012 Bank lending was up 4% These levels are of course well below the published GDP figure of 7.5% for Q2, but the two types of data […]
Don’t be surprised if your finance team starts working even longer hours over the next few weeks. Not only will they have to worry about revising profit forecasts and working capital issues, as demand weakens in some core markets. Now they have to worry about what might happen to the cash actually in some company […]
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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 as 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.