0109 china
Sales people introduce properties to potential buyers at the 2010 Beijing Spring Real Estate Trade Fair on April 10, 2010 in Beijing, China. Some fear that a housing bubble is growing in China and other Asian countries. - 

Jeremy Hobson: Our regular Monday guest Julia Coronado is in the middle of an economic tour of Asia at the moment. And she joins us live from Singapore. Hi Julia.

Julia Coronado: Hello.

Hobson: So I want to get your thoughts on the U.S. earnings season in a moment, but first, since you are in Asia, I want to just ask you about the global economic view from Asia.

Coronado: What I'm hearing from people in Asia, that they've seen their economies slow pretty noticeably over the last six months, even though it was from a very, very strong starting point. They're also worried about a hard landing for their housing sectors. They've seen housing prices run up pretty strongly over the last few years, and there's some questions about how hard that could turn.

Hobson: And are they willing to admit right now that there is a housing bubble in places like China?

Coronado: Well, nobody really wants to use the word "bubble" because that means that it will burst, and you will have a hard landing. So right now I think policymakers in Asia are trying very hard to engineer that perfect soft landing.

Hobson: Well what about corporate earnings season here in the U.S. -- do people that you've been speaking with in Asia look to the U.S. as a bright spot?

Coronado: The U.S. has been the bright spot over the last few months -- that's without a doubt. And while Europe is certainly the cloud on everyone's horizon, I think that the U.S. -- partly because we went through such a harsh correction already -- does look to be the relative outperformer.

Hobson: Julia Coronado, chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas, thanks as always. And have a nice time in Asia.

Coronado: I certainly will try.