Chinese Corporate Earnings Don’t Bode Well For A Second-Half Recovery

As canaries in coal mines go, China Inc is a large one. But evaporating corporate profits were an early indicator of the economy’s slowing in 2011, which makes analysts forecasts for the coming earnings season worrying. These are being cut faster than at any time in the past 30 months, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, which tracks earnings estimates for Chinese companies in the MSCI China index. Nor are petrochemical and cement producers, two leading recovery indicators because their output is used in the early stages of the production cycle, showing much if anything by way of a pick-up. Their downward earnings forecast revisions still outnumber upwards ones. That provides scant encouragement for hopes of a second-half recovery.

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