China's Slowdown Hurting Businesses Across the Globe

Countries that have benefited from China's sizzling growth in the past are now getting burnt as the world's second-largest economy is slowing down in an accelerating pace.

 

China's second-quarter gross domestic product released early Monday showed the economy expanded 7.5% from the year earlier, slower than the 7.7% growth in the first quarter.

 

Among the countries feeling the slump is Indonesia, where a palm-oil plantation owner in North Sumatra has seen his income slip after demand from China declined, reports the Wall Street Journal.

 

China's slowdown has also hit Australia's businesses, such as Ausco Modular, an Australian company that builds temporary camps for mine workers in places like Karratha, a mining town on Australia's northwest coast. The company has been benefiting from China's hunger for resources.

 

"The truth is that the China resources boom is over," Australia's prime minister, Kevin Rudd, said Thursday in a speech. The unemployment rate in Australia, a mining powerhouse, is 5.7%, its highest in four years.

 

The deceleration is particularly hard on commodities producers—the biggest beneficiaries of China's boom. The Journal cited a Standard & Poor's study which found that many of China's biggest companies will cut total capital expenditures this year for the first time in at least a decade.

 

Meanwhile, the U.S. hasn't felt China's slowdown in part because demand for some of the top exports to China—airplanes and high-tech computer goods—has remained strong.

 

The slowdown also hasn't stopped Chinese consumers from spending. Demand for trendy clothes is still strong, benefiting companies such as Asia's top clothes retailer, Japan's Fast Retailing Co. Sales of cars have also remained strong, rising 12% in the first half of the year to 10.7 million vehicles.

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