Friday, April 25, 2008

Reading the tea leaves

We wrote a week ago about reports from the Canton Fair that it had a slow start. We said we'd keep a close eye on the tea leaves to see what messages we could divine about the impact of US economic slowdown on B2B businesses in Asia.

Two different cups of tea here:

  • A China Knowledge report on the HKTDC web site says that Hong Kong's "total goods exports [in February] posted a 5.5% increase year on year, while its imports volume jumped 9.8% compared with the same month of last year". That may include some Chinese New Year timing factors (January and February are always a bit dangerous for stats in this part of the world), but overall, it suggests that things are moving forward, albeit at a somewhat slower pace in previous years.
  • Meanwhile, Andy So at Seeking Alpha notes that China's two leading listed web companies, Baidu and are trading in opposite directions: "Alibaba faces a weaker international trade environment that is causing investor uneasiness over future earnings", he notes.
Let me know if your tea cup readings throw up any other indicators of the way the wind is blowing. Oooh. Ugly mixed metaphor there. Sorry about that.

No comments: