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English>>China Business

Growth downturn hits global firms

By Lanlan and Shen Jingting  (China Daily)

07:54, October 15, 2012

The domestic slowdown is causing concern among international firms accustomed to playing the 'China card' to boost their balance sheets but any downturn in fortunes will be sector specific, company chiefs said.

GDP growth for 2012 is estimated to be around 7.8 percent, according to Yi Gang, vice-governor of the People's Bank of China.

The official quarterly GDP data, to be released later this week, will see the economy bottoming out in the third quarter before slowly picking up through the remainder of the year, economists said.

Exports posted higher than expected growth in September and GDP growth will probably hit 7.7 percent in 2012 and 8.2 percent in 2013, according to a report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Friday.

Yet weakened demand for the whole year will almost inevitably affect countries and international corporations with a large exposure to China.

Companies that enjoyed two-digit growth rates will have to adapt to the slower pace of China's economic expansion, said Christoph Nettesheim, senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, Greater China.

"Overall, there's a significant slowdown in the Chinese economy, whether you call it a hard landing or not. That's a more fundamental thing than just a quarter-by-quarter situation."

But Nettesheim noted that the slowdown "very much depends on sectors".

Some companies "are already very worried," while others are not, he said.

Health and general medical care, tourism, education and luxury cars sales are booming while the slowdown is most noticeable in infrastructure, basic resources and materials. It also affects consumer goods, he added.

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