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Question
Dear Ted:

Instructions: Read the following article and fill in the gaps of the summary below with ONE appropriate word.

WILL CHINESE CONSUMERS RESCUE WORLD ECONOMY?

When CEOs and professional investors in developed economies go to bed these days, some may pray for protection from markets in turmoil, share prices in the cellar and angry financial gods bringing fire and brimstone with every check of their Bloomberg terminal or the front pages of The Wall Street Journal.

"Spend, China," they whisper. "Spend."

The dream of China is the life preserver many multinational corporations are clinging to, not without some reason. The recent Shanghai Auto Show perhaps showed that like no other. More than half a million people attended, including 1,500 automotive manufacturers from around the world.

Carmakers decided to use Shanghai as the launching point for 13 new models, most notably Porsche introduced its first four-door sedan, the Panamera, flanked by Chinese models and surrounded by a rapturous crowd of the world press. It's telling that such an important debut took place in China, rather than the company's home in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, where the German automotive industry is being buffeted by the high winds of the credit crisis.

While the Big Three from Detroit are fighting for their lives, China has more than 100 domestic car makers competing with multinational carmakers to get a piece of the growing Chinese car market. For the first quarter of the year, 2.7 million cars were sold in China -- besting U.S. sales of 2.2 million for the first time to become the world's largest car market.

General Motors may be on the verge of filing for bankruptcy protection, but it has one bright spot on its balance sheets - China, where sales are expected to rise 17 percent this year, according to Kevin Wale, chief executive of GM China. While analysts predict global car sales WILL fall more than 8 percent this year, sales in China grew 10 percent in March, according to the Chinese government. "You have to be here, and you have to be here in a serious way," Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO, told CNN.

The automobile industry's hopes for China are emblematic for nearly every industry in the world. A Nielsen consumer confidence index shows Chinese consumers are more optimistic than most consumers elsewhere, rating 89 points compared to the global average of 77.

But all is not well in China. Before Lehman Brothers went belly up last September, an open question among financial academics was the issue of "decoupling"- the belief that developing markets such as China could absorb a drop in export business with increased domestic spending. But the ripple effect of Lehman's collapse created uncertainty -- growth in China is expected to drop to 6 percent this year from an average exceeding 10 percent in recent years, experts say.While that may sound enviable to Western companies, analysts say China needs 8 percent growth to maintain current employment levels. "For a while it seemed China was relatively immune to the impact of the credit crisis, then the collapse of Lehman Brothers showed it wasn't," said Joseph Zveglich, assistant chief economist at the Asian Development Bank.

And even as Western companies clamor for the China market, it's an open question of whether Chinese consumers - be they nouveau riche or just emerging from poverty - are interested in foreign goods. But let's not forget the annual per capita income in China is just $1,000.

"There is a misconception that Western companies are good at penetrating the Chinese market," said Frederic Neumann, a senior economist at HSBC. "We see a lot (of penetration) in the auto sector and top end of the luxury market, but if you look at broad Chinese consumption trends, Western companies don't have the cachet" of local Chinese brand names.

"We see the top-end (consumer spending) weakening and consumption moving inland ... which suggests the best placed companies will be Chinese companies themselves, not Western multinationals," he said.

SUMMARY

In the middle of the crisis many ___BELIEVE____ that China will be the savior of multinational companies with its annual 10 % ___GROWTH____ and large numbers of potential __CUSTOMERS___. A clear sign of that belief was when the Auto Show was ____HELD____ in Shanghai and attracted a lot of people and __CARMAKERS___ , both domestic and international.

While the world financial crisis has serious consequences for ___GERMAN____ and American car manufacturers, the car industry is definitely _BOOMING____ in China where there are more than 100 car-makers and more cars are sold ___ANNUALLY____ than in the USA. In addition, consumers are more ___OPTMISTIC___ than elsewhere. But will high sales characterize other __SECTORS___ as well?

China’s economy is affected by the credit crisis, too, and does suffer from a __SLUMP____ in sales internationally, which might result in a drop of ___SPENDING____ at home as well. That, coupled with the fact that the average annual income is at $1,000, might result in __PREVENTING___ multinationals from expanding in China. Frederic Neumann, an economist at _HSBC___ , believes that it will be difficult for Western products, with the __INCLUSION___ of luxury goods, to penetrate the Chinese market. He says the average Chinese consumer is more ___INCLINED___ to stick to Chinese products.

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

I think you have done very well.  I have just one problem:

it will be difficult for Western products, with the __INCLUSION___ of luxury
goods, to penetrate the Chinese market.

*** As I read Frederic Neumann's statement, I think he is saying that expensive automobiles and other luxury items will STILL be purchased by the Chinese who can afford to buy them.

I think the word should be "exclusion" instead of "inclusion."  In other words, WITHOUT counting luxury goods, the Chinese are more inclined to stick to Chinese products.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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