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The blog’s 8th birthday

Economic growth
By Paul Hodges on 26-Jun-2015

Google Jun15It seems hard to imagine that the blog has now been running for 8 years. Today’s post is the 2195th to be published since it began on 22 June 2007, and as the map shows, it continues to be read all over the world, with the Top 10 countries being

USA; UK; Germany; Singapore; India; Netherlands; China; Belgium; Japan; and S Korea, France, Canada all equal

It also continues to have an incredibly loyal audience, with around half reading it weekly, and a quarter on a daily basis.

Anniversaries are a time to look back.  It is astonishing to remember the range of events since June 2007 – the first post was written from Bangkok, and marked the 10th anniversary of the Asian crisis.

My aim over the years has been to try and provide a consistent narrative of events.  And 4 years ago, this led to the publication of ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal’ – co-authored with my colleague,  John Richardson.  This rejected the conventional economic view that suggests demand is always constant, and instead argued it is age- and income-related:

  • When there are many young people, demand booms as they need to buy many new things, and their incomes are increasing as their careers develop
  • When there are more older people, demand slows as they already own most of what they need, and their incomes are falling as they enter retirement
  • Equally important is that emerging economies remain relatively poor – disposable incomes for the 600m living outside China’s main cities are just $1.7k/year

Importantly, this analysis is becoming more widely accepted.  Since publication, I have had the privilege of working with companies and investors around the world to develop their version of a New Normal strategy.  I have also spoken at a wide range of conferences and workshops, as well as giving numerous media interviews.

Encouragingly, many companies are now starting to include a demographic analysis in their strategies.  And there is a growing acceptance that a low-cost supply position is no longer the major factor for commercial success.  It is equally critical to develop robust and sustainable sources of demand.

Many thanks indeed for your support.