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Back Plastic News Industry Talk No “Breakthrough Year” For The US In 2014

No “Breakthrough Year” For The US In 2014

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PEOPLE who trade in oil, other commodities and equities don’t buy that many chemicals and polymers because, of course, relative to the US population as a whole, they number very few.
 
Thus, the challenge for 2014, as President Obama talks about a “breakthrough year” for the US economy, is spreading the strength in commodity and equity markets to the vast majority of Americans.  
 
Christine Lagarde, in announcing that the IMF had upgraded its forecast for US growth in 2014, conceded that income inequality was an issue. Income inequality is historically bad.
 
We have been here before. For the last five Decembers, we have been hearing that the following year would be a breakthrough year, when the US economy would finally free itself from the impact of the global financial crisis.
 
Maybe this time will be different, but we think there is a very good chance that 2014 will again disappoint on any reasonable broader measure of prosperity and, therefore, sustainable growth.  Whilst US unemployment has been declining, the workforce participation rate has yet to really improve (see the above chart).
 
Workers, discouraged by the reluctance of companies to hire people because of the demographic impact on demand, have taken themselves out of the workforce and so have disappeared from the percentage estimates of unemployment.
 
Another factor behind the shrinking workforce participation rate is the ageingof the Babyboomers. Some 10,000 Boomers are retiring in the US every single day and so, obviously, participation of the overall population in the workforce is on the decline.
 

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