If things are really starting to look up for China’s economy, as a recent spate of better-than-expected government data seems to suggest, nobody appears to have told its biggest retailers.
A Reuters review of first-half earnings showed that more than 20 Chinese companies selling everything from footwear to food were not convinced the economic slowdown had bottomed out, and neither were their traditionally thrifty customers.
“The reality behind the numbers is gloomier,” said leading footwear retailer Belle International as a raft of data, supported by government statements, indicated the world’s second largest economy may be stabilizing after two years of slumping growth.
“There are uncertainties in future prospects as the economy is struggling with a difficult transition involving structural re-balancing and revamping the growth model,” said Belle, which has a market value of $11.6 billion and manages more than 18,000 retail outlets across 360 Chinese cities.
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