Here is another informal indicator of the stalling of the recovery in China’s economy in the first quarter of this year. The chart above shows the quarterly sales growth over the past nine quarters of Hermes, the Paris-based fashion and luxury-goods maker, in Asia outside of Japan. That is predominantly sales to Chinese in China and those shopping in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Singapore. The figures are at constant exchange rates. Taking the broader regional sales mitigates to some extent last year’s crackdown on conspicuous consumption within China. But the pattern is clear, recovery in the fourth quarter of 2012, followed by a big splutter in the first quarter of this — although still within the context of some pretty robust growth.