The world’s third largest economy looks set to make its target growth of 8% for 2009 according to data from China’s National Bureau of statistics. Year-on-year data for October suggests that industrial activity is up by more than 16%. Retail figures were also encouraging whilst consumer prices have continued to trend downwards. This suggests that domestic demand is strengthening which is good news as the past year has seen steady decline in Chinese exports to the rest of the world. Some reports suggest that export order have been trending higher in recent weeks as the tentative global recovery begins to take shape. Or not. The Chinese currency has been closely shadowing the US Dollar, so the currency is weaker against other major currencies.
The September UK trade deficit was worse than expected; coming in at £7.2bn. This was partly due to the “own goal” of the UK’s version of the “Cash for Clunkers” scheme whereby the public could get £2000 towards the price of a new car, if they scrapped an old car. It must have slipped the UK government’s memory that domestic, mass market car production effectively ended 30 years ago. Consequently, the influx of imported vehicles needed to satisfy the demand that the scheme generated, largely served to widen the trade gap. However, data did support the proposition that the UK export volume had also gone up in September – just not to the same extent as imports, unfortunately.
US based software company Adobe Systems, best known for products such as Photoshop, Flash and Acrobat, has announced that it will shed nearly 10% of its workforce (680 jobs). The move is a cost cutting measure.