Blog

SuperCycle era ends for analyst ‘buy’ judgements

The above chart may well become a collectors’ piece in time. It appears in a fascinating article in the latest Harvard Business Review, which focuses on why stock market analysts in the USA (U), Europe (E), Asia (A) and Latin America (L) issue ‘buy’ r…
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Global Aromatics conference in Berlin next week

Next week’s World Aromatics conference is a must-attend event for anyone involved with the industry. It features speakers from leading companies including Dow, Saudi Aramco and Shell, as well as from the International Energy Agency. In addition, ther…
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China’s PE market heads into the New Normal

This is a big week for politics. Today is the US Presidential election, which could have major implications for US-China trade, as Mitt Romney has said he will brand China a ‘currency manipulator’ on his first day in office. It is also the start of C…
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G-20 richest nations still lack a ‘Plan B’

Hands-up those who remember the G-20? Well done, Mexican readers, you get full points. But other readers seem doubtful. This weekend the world’s Finance Ministers were meeting in Mexico City, as the country concludes its G-20 presidency. But you w…
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US Federal Reserve policies confront a closing door

The blog’s friends at the American Chemistry Council used a very relevant quotation recently from Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone and numerous other modern wonders: “Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we seek t…
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Companies need to plan for slower global growth

As promised, the blog looks today at the business implications of population ageing and slower economic growth. The chart shows official US household expenditure data, by category. The overall message is clear: spending peaks by the age of 55 years, …
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Ageing populations mean decades of slower growth

The next few decades will see very much slower economic growth in most countries. This will have critical implications for business strategy, as the blog summarises in a new Research Note. Encouragingly, the Financial Tmes has devoted a column to its…
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Buyers start selling benzene as demand disappears

What happens if prices stay unaffordable for so long, that the consumer eventually stops buying? Younger readers may not remember such a period, as it last happened in the early 1980s, before the SuperCycle began. But it looks as though they may be c…
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Doing nothing is not a good option

The blog was interviewed by ICIS’ Will Beacham on its budget outlook this week. Key points from our discussion were: On the short-term outlook “Let’s just say that things are going to be pretty flat. The fourth quarter and first quarter of 2013 a…
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US housing starts rise as investors buy into rental sector

US housing markets have been a disaster for many homeowners. Overall, they have lost $6tn since the collapse began in 2006. Nationally, prices are still down 32% versus their peak, according to the Case Shiller Index. Temporarily, however, the mar…
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Global auto sales growth slows

The impact of sustained high oil prices is becoming very clear in global auto markets. Car sales are facing major headwinds with gasoline and diesel prices at, or near, record levels in many countries. The chart shows combined sales in the 3 major ma…
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