By  on December 12, 2008

SHANGHAI — Falling exports, World Bank warnings and factory closures — China’s economy is being hit by the global economic downturn, and its consumers are feeling the pinch.

Even as the Chinese government moves rapidly to stimulate the country’s economy and consumer spending via a $586 billion stimulus package, a consensus is growing: The nation won’t be able to escape the global recession unscathed, and a market once seen as a gold mine for fashion brands will wobble. The emergence of the new middle and upper classes in China distinguishes the current situation from the Asian financial crisis that brought the country’s first boom to an end in the late Nineties, as does China’s greater integration into and dependence upon world markets.

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