Basic Skills, not protectionism, key to sustaining today’s High Income, Services-based economies

Suddenly, manufacturing and protectionism have become political issues across the Western world.  President Trump has already formed a Manufacturing Council with the aim of “reshoring jobs” from outside the USA, and is threatening to introduce import duties of up to 45%. The problem, however, as the chart shows, is that this will not help the people who […]

3D printing to move manufacturing closer to the customer

15 years ago, it was fashionable to dismiss eBusiness as a fairy story.  I remember those days well, as I had just raised $25m from major companies to fund its development in the chemical industry.  Today, of course, eBusiness is everywhere.  Nobody would dream of shaking their heads and dismissing the whole concept, as many did pre-2000. Which takes […]

China’s PTA, PVC exports jump as it moves to preserve jobs

To assume, as they say is “to make an ass out of u and me”.  That was certainly the case last week, when financial markets assumed that China’s slightly better PMI index was a sign that its domestic economy was stabilising.  They had temporarily forgotten the key message of February’s Research Note, namely that the government would aim to […]

Reshoring brings manufacturing jobs back to the West

Outsourcing and offshoring took off in western industry during the 1990s. The babyboomers’ demand supercycle meant new manufacturing capacity was urgently needed. And the entry of East Europe, China and India into the global economy offered a seeming…

US BabyBoomers buy motorbikes with heated seats

What do you do if your core customers disappear? Go bankrupt, or find new ones? That’s the issue facing many companies as the West heads over the ‘demographic cliff’.

As the Financial Times reports, iconic motorbike manufacturer Harley Davidson has …

Clean technology enables cost and waste reduction

Affordability, rather than value-in-use, will be key to success for companies as we transition to the New Normal.

This means, as we note in Chapter 9 of ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal’, that manufacturing will have a major role to play in achieving t…

The changing landscape for manufacturers

The New Normal involves three major transformations in the nature of consumer markets:

• The increasing size of the New Old 55+ age group in the West
• Too many young people struggling with higher unemployment
• Large number of people moving ou…