Please join me for my free ACS webinar on Thursday, December 15, 2022 @ 2-3pm ET.
Chemicals and the Economy
The car market is crashing
Winners and Losers are becoming inevitable in the world’s largest manufacturing industry. Companies and their suppliers have to manage fixed costs to survive the recession. But they also have to invest in EV/AVs if they want to have a business in the future.
Food costs and interest rates rise as energy and fertilizer supplies are hit by the invasion
It’s going to be a very difficult winter. Most of the world will be impacted as Europe bids up energy/food prices to keep its people warm and fed. And it would never have happened if policymakers had recognised the importance of geopolitics, energy markets and demographics.
Prepare for the coming crisis
As the head of Germany’s Employers’ Associations warned last month: “We are facing the biggest crisis the post-war Federal Republic has ever had. We have to be honest and say: First of all, we will lose the prosperity that we have had for years”.
IMF warns the risks “for the economy are overwhelmingly tilted to the downside”
Millions of people around the world are already having to cutback on buying food for their families due to today’s high prices. By wintertime, the risk is that they will have to choose between buying food or heating their homes.
The blog’s 15th birthday – and the chemical industry remains the best leading indicator for the global economy
The US is moving into recession as the Atlanta Fed chart confirms. Chemicals have been warning of this for some time. But policymakers and commentators remain in Denial about the economy. They prefer to focus on their computer models, and ignore the real world outside their window.
“We now understand better how little we understand about inflation”, Jay Powell, US Federal Reserve Chairman
We are facing a perfect storm of global food, energy and financial crises set off by the war in Ukraine. Analysts need to stop focusing on monetary policy and the inversion of the yield curve. They need to look out of the window and start dealing with the geopolitical reality of Putinflation.
Energy market chaos highlights risks to the global economy, as US consumer sentiment hits all-time lows
Consumer sentiment is already at all-time lows. Rising energy, transport and food prices will likely soon push inflation above 10%, and interest/mortgage rates to 5%+, adding to the risk of a major and long-lasting downturn.
The chemicals industry continues to be the best leading indicator for the global economy
Central banks and investors believed stimulus programs had created a “New Paradigm” where asset prices would always increase. Now they are starting to realise that stimulus is irrelevant against the 3 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – China’s continuing battle with the pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and potential for famine as rising gas/fertilizer prices mean farmers can’t afford to grow their crops or feed their animals.
Ukraine, pandemic, herald major market shifts
Energy and financial markets are exacerbating the risks ahead. Oil prices at current levels – as the chart confirms, they now account for more than 3% of global GDP – have historically led to recession as the chart shows. The reason is that consumers have to cut back on their discretionary spending, which drives economic growth, in order to heat their homes and travel to work and school. Today’s high levels of natural gas prices add to this risk.