Governments, financial markets and central banks all originally assumed the Covid-19 pandemic would be over in a few days or weeks. But it is now clear they were wrong. And unfortunately, there is little sign of a Plan B emerging. The idea was that consumers would have plenty of money in their pockets after the
The chemical industry is easily the best leading indicator for the global economy. And thanks to Kevin Swift and his team at the American Chemistry Council, we already have data showing developments up to October, as the chart shows. It confirms that consensus hopes for a “synchronised global recovery” at the beginning of the year
Companies and investors are starting to finalise their plans for the coming year. Many are assuming that the global economy will grow by 3% – 3.5%, and are setting targets on the basis of “business as usual”. This has been a reasonable assumption for the past 25 years, as the chart confirms for the US economy:
Suddenly, businesses across Europe are waking up to the realisation that the UK is currently on course to leave the European Union (EU) on 29 March next year, without a deal on trade and customs. As Katherine Bennett, the UK boss of aerospace giant, Airbus, warned on Friday: “This is not project fear, this is […]
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Its been a long time since oil market supply/demand was based on physical barrels rather than financial flows: First there was the subprime period, when the Fed artificially boosted demand and caused Brent to hit $147/bbl Then there was QE, where central banks gave free cash to commodity hedge funds and led Brent to hit […]
Interviewed for this Reuters article, I suggest today’s low levels of market volatility could be “the calm before the storm” Saikat Chatterjee and Vikram Subhedar, AUGUST 11, 2017 / 5:06 PM LONDON (Reuters) – After this week’s war of words between the United States and North Korea triggered the biggest fall in global stocks since the U.S. presidential […]
40 years ago, the vast majority of the British people were in favour of joining the European Economic Community. 67% voted in favour, in the 1975 referendum to confirm the UK’s entry. Virtually all mainstream politicians were in support, with only the left-wing of the Labour Party strongly anti on the grounds that it was […]
This morning, Greece introduced capital controls. People can only withdraw €60/day ($65) from their bank accounts. The government has also called a referendum on Sunday, after Eurozone talks on a new bailout package collapsed. The key issue is that Greece will never be able to repay its debts. These are currently estimated at €322bn ($365bn) […]
Nobody can guess the outcome of the UK’s general election on 7 May. This is astonishing, as it is only 4 months away. Currently, it seems most unlikely that either of the main parties, Conservative or Labour, will be able to form a government on their own. Indeed, 7 different outcomes have been identified as possible by the […]
Yesterday’s post described how OPEC oil producers are seeing their export sales to the US start to disappear. But this, of course, is only one side of the story. As the chart from the Wall Street Journal shows, Saudi needs a $93/bbl oil price to balance its budget. Most of OPEC needs a higher price. Only Kuwait, UAE and Qatar need […]
Its now nearly 2 years since the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) said he “was ready to do whatever it takes” to save the euro, and brought down interest rates in the weakest PIIGS economies (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain). As the chart shows, this statement had a remarkable effect in financial markets: Interest rates today […]
The IeC Boom/Gloom Index (blue column) proved its value again last month. It shot to a new record high, and this was then followed by a record high for both the S&P 500 (red line) and the Dow Jones Industrials. But now the Index has fallen sharply. This highlights the major divergence between developments in the […]
Markets have been remarkably calm ahead of Crimea’s planned Sunday referendum to leave Ukraine and join Russia. Yet as Associated Press has reported: “The Group of 7 world leaders say they won’t recognize results of a referendum for the Crimea region to split from Ukraine and join Russia. A statement from the seven nations released from […]
Oil markets have weakened significantly since they fell out of their major ‘triangle’ formation earlier this month. WTI is already within the forecast $60-80/bbl range although, as the chart shows, Brent still maintains a $10/bbl premium at $90/bbl.