China: U.S. might steal Christmas

Scott Tong Nov 2, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

Lisa Napoli: Wall Street’s triple-digit decline Thursday walloped Asia today. Markets in Hong Kong and Taiwan sank 3 percent — a 2 percent decline for the markets in Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Same deal with China, where Scott Tong looks at what happened.


Scott Tong: Here’s the fear in China: That a weakening American economy means fewer work this holiday season for Santa Claus and his Chinese elves.

William Hess: The main link between the Chinese economy and the U.S. economy is still the U.S. consumer.

William Hess in Beijing is with the forecasting firm Global Insight:

Hess: The recently relatively weak consumer data would indicate that maybe in the medium term that imports from China may slow down. And certainly exports have been driving a lot of Chinese growth.

But market trepidation out here also reflects the alternative economic universe that is China — that it’s running too hot. GDP is growing at 11.5 percent, and stocks have doubled this year.

Beijing wants to cool it all down with interest-rate hikes. That would also address the growing whispers of inflation. The cost of fuel, wages and food are all up. Not a good time for the American Christmas orders to go down.

In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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