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.
Chemicals and the Economy
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.
This is why we are facing a K-shaped recession. Companies and investors have a difficult time ahead. They not only have to navigate a potentially major downturn. But they also have to completely reposition their portfolios for the New Normal world that will follow.
These are difficult times, and there is no guarantee that they may not get worse. But they also remind us of the critical need to move beyond the Age of Oil, and develop more sustainable energy resources for the future.
Automakers are ahead of the game in terms of strategic planning. They soon realised the move to EVs meant their traditional business model, based on proprietary engine technology, would inevitably become obsolete. And so they quickly realised they need to pivot to focus on AVs and become software-driven. The rest of us need to catch up.
The issue is simply that investors are in a state of Denial. And so there is a growing risk of a financial crisis as reality finally dawns on them.
Our pH Report Sentiment Index has been a very reliable guide to the S&P 500 in recent years. Now it is suggesting a major downturn may be underway as the US and Chinese stimulus programmes come to an end.
Exponential rapidly rising or falling markets usually go further than you think, but they do not correct by going sideways.
The implications of the rise in EV sales go well beyond the auto and oil markets, with petrochemicals likely to be next in line for disruption. This is why the surge in EV sales up the S-curve of adoption has to be my Chart of the Year.
OPEC+ oil producers saw prices tumble $10/bbl (13%) on Friday as the world woke up to the fact that the next phase of the pandemic may be underway. And this is not the only challenge that they face. OIL PRICES HAVE ONLY BEEN HELD UP BY MAJOR SUPPLY CUTBACKS The first is the challenge from […]