Europe’s plastic industry is at a critical turning point. Profitability is falling as the recession bites. But it cannot just cut back and hunker down. Instead, it has to take a lead in building major new recycling capacity as today’s markets and feedstocks start to disappear.
Chemicals and the Economy
Problems in the housing market aren’t just confined to the US, UK, Germany and China. The average house price/income ratio is now back to the highest level since records began. And the problem for homeowners is that potential buyers are already starting to disappear as mortgage rates rise – and affordability reduces.
Each year, it seems there is only one candidate for Chart of the Year. And 2020 is no exception. It has to be the CAPE Index developed by Nobel Prize winner, Prof Robert Shiller. As the chart shows, it is nearly at an all-time high with Tesla’s addition to the S&P 500. Only the peak […]
London property websites haven’t used the word “reduced” for many years. But it’s starting to appear again on homes for sale and rent, even in core city postcodes. And in another sign of the downturn, homes can now be on offer for months without moving. The problem is that prices were already ready to tumble […]
After the excitement of Wimbledon tennis and a cricket World Cup final, Londoners were back to their favourite conversation topic last week – house prices. But now the news has become bittersweet as the price decline starts to accelerate. As the London Evening Standard headline confirms: “The London property slump has dramatically accelerated with prices […]
The Financial Times has kindly printed my letter below, arguing that it seems the default answer to almost any economic question has now become “more stimulus” from the central bank. After 15 years of subprime lending and then quantitative easing, last week’s warning from the Bank of England suggests there are fewer and fewer economic […]
London house prices are “falling at the fastest rate in almost a decade” according to major property lender, Nationwide. And almost 40% of new-build sales were to bulk buyers at discounts of up to 30%, according of researchers, Molior. As the CEO of builders Crest Nicholson told the Financial Times: “We did this sale because we […]
2000 should have been the natural end of the BabyBoomer-led economic SuperCycle. The oldest Boomer (born in 1946) was about to leave the Wealth Creator 25 – 54 age group that drives consumer spending and hence economic growth. And since 1970, Boomer women’s fertility rates had been below replacement level (2.1 babies/woman). So relatively fewer young people were […]
Global interest rates have fallen dramatically over the past 25 years, as the chart shows for government 10-year bonds: UK rates peaked at 9% in 1995 and are now down at 1%: US rates peaked at 8% and are now at 2% German rates peaked at 8% and are now down to 0%: […]
Unsurprisingly, Friday’s US GDP report showed Q1 growth was just 0.7%, as the New York Times reported: “The U.S. economy turned in the weakest performance in three years in the January-March quarter as consumers sharply slowed their spending. The result fell far short of President Donald Trump’s ambitious growth targets and underscores the challenges of […]