The litmus test for the global economy

Smartphone sales head into decline as affordability becomes key

The smartphone sales decline accelerated in Q1, as Strategy Analytics report: “Global smartphone shipments fell 17% to reach 275m in Q1. This is the smartphone industry’s worst quarterly performance of all time. On an annualised basis, as the chart shows, global volume was down 12% to 1.36bn from the Q3 2017 peak. And, of course,

Contingency planning is essential in 2020 as “synchronised slowdown” continues

The IMF has now confirmed that the world economy has moved into the synchronised slowdown that I forecast here a year ago. Its analysis also confirms the importance of the issues highlighted then, including “rising trade barriers and increasing geopolitical tensions”, a sharp decline in manufacturing, contraction in the auto industry and structural forces such

Budgeting for paradigm shifts and a debt crisis

It is now 8 years since John Richardson and I published our 10-year forecast for 2021 in Boom, Gloom and the New Normal: How the Western BabyBoomers are Changing Demand Patterns, Again’. Remarkably, its core conclusions are very relevant today, as the summary confirms. Unfortunately, as we feared, policymakers refused to junk their out-of-date models,

Markets face major paradigm shifts as recession approaches

Major paradigm shifts are occurring in the global economy, as I describe in a new analysis for ICIS Chemical Business Over the past 25 years, the budget process has tended to assume that the external environment will be relatively stable. 2008 was a shock at the time, of course, but many have now forgotten the