Money, money, money. Europe’s finances can’t seem to improve without major help from China.
Major stock markets in Europe fell this week as traders awaited key Chinese economic data and fretted over eurozone crisis fears. Boo.
According to France 24, the scandalized Standard Chartered bank rebounded after heavy losses, but all is still not well in Europe:
“Markets sagged as traders looked ahead to Thursday’s Chinese data including inflation and industrial production …
‘Traders seem largely content to sit on their hands right now, at least until we see that array of data … from China,’ said GFT Markets analyst Fawad Razaqzada.
‘The reality is that the problems in Europe haven’t gone away — ING (bank) has taken a big hit on Spanish exposure in today’s results – so unless we see more really decent fundamentals coming out of the US and Asia, then it’s going to be hugely difficult to justify much more on the upside.'”
It’s not just financial markets that are dependent on China these days either–a new piece by Voices of America highlights how Chinese tourists are a desperately-needed boon to tourism in Europe, particularly in France:
“Today, about half-a-million Chinese visit France every year. Tour operators predict that number may reach two million or more by 2020.
With incomes rising in China, middle-class Chinese can now afford to go abroad. English teacher Chester [his Western name] poses for pictures near the Louvre museum with a group of colleagues. He is enjoying Paris … in a language he understands.
‘We see some signs in Chinese everywhere. In shops, in restaurants. We went to some palaces and we saw Chinese everywhere, I’m afraid.’
Chinese are not only flocking to cultural attractions, but also to French clothing and perfume stores.
The Chinese are France’s biggest foreign shoppers, accounting for one quarter of all duty-free business, according to shopping group Global Blue. Some major stores are responding by hiring Chinese-speaking staff. And last year, France’s Le Figaro media group launched a luxury magazine targeting Chinese shoppers.”
What do you think? Is it time for Europeans to add Mandarin to their roster?
Read more on China, France, America and the world beyond in the latest edition of Carnet Atlantique!