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China's economic growth is slowing, and many analysts predict that this process could bring major challenges. One of the key areas of concern has been the vulnerable export market--but now some are seeing cause for a bit of optimism.
One influential Chinese think tank believes that exports will reach double-digit growth in 2012. That would be a return to form after a slowdown beginning last year, which many feared would only worsen this year as global markets face uncertainty.
Yet the orders are still coming in for factories in China's major manufacturing centers, and one of the signs that has analysts thinking twice about their previous predictions is the location of the current crop of buyers.
While traditional export destinations like the European Union, the United States, and Japan are still most prominent, Chinese manufacturers are also getting increasing orders from major emerging markets, including Russia and India.
Moreover, the rate of sales to such emerging markets is now increasing more quickly than those to the developed world—with India alone seeing a 23 percent rise last year, roughly the same as the rise in exports to southeast Asian nations.
Current data goes towards revising some of the gloomiest scenarios predicted from last year's slowdown, which was matched by America's feeble recovery and Europe's ongoing risk of massive financial failure.
Yet figures for February will not be released until March 10—at that point it will be more clear whether or not emerging market exports will indeed be enough to offset the fall in Western demand. It's also unclear how sustainable such a shift would be in the long-term, especially as rival manufacturing centers like Indonesia and Vietnam expand their own export-led growth plans. And of course, in the event of a serious global downturn.