Another Plunging Data Point: Canton Fair Visits Down

The Canton Fair is less important these days and Ebola fears kept at least a few Africans from attending, but it might also be a weaker global economy......

Weaker orders at Canton Fair signal China export boost may not be sustainable
China's bellwether import-export trade fair showed a decline in orders year-on-year, indicating that strong external demand which helped buoy growth in the third quarter may not be sustainable in the final three months of the year.

The China Import and Export Fair, popularly known as the Canton Fair, generated 179.2 billion yuan ($29.30 billion), organizers said in a statement on Tuesday, the final day of the event that began on Oct. 15. That's 8.6 percent less than last fall's fair after accounting for currency fluctuations.

Ebola fears were blamed for keeping visitors away:
Attendance at the fair declined by a slim 1.9 percent from the same period a year earlier with worries over the Ebola virus epidemic potentially leading some to stay home. State-run China Daily quoted the fair's spokesman in mid-October saying Ebola and domestic dengue fever epidemics would likely affect attendance and that Africans would not be barred from the event.

Medical workers at the fair held in Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong province, donned full protection suits and checked visitors for signs of the Ebola virus that has killed nearly 5,000 people, mostly in West Africa.

Re Ebola: Africans in China feel scant Ebola panic

The 8.6% decline in orders was an improvement from the double digit losses in the spring. The decline in visitors picked up from the spring, but the rate of decline slowed there as well. Still, it was an absolute decline in both visitors and orders and points to slowing growth in the coming year.

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