November 23rd, 2011
05:59 PM GMT
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(CNN) – Turn on CNN, open the ‘papers, check your emails. If you hadn’t noticed yet, the European economy is pretty close to crumbling around us. Or is it?

Meet the shining stars of the European business world and the big picture is more boom than doom. At least that was the message we got at the European Business Awards in Barcelona.

The Marketplace Europe team headed to Barcelona for the Awards ceremony this week. The event is designed to showcase innovation, drive and resourcefulness from companies of all sizes, nationalities and sectors around Europe.

So far, so predictable. But what made it more than just another date in the November “events season” diary was that we weren’t baffled by power-point presentations or bored with a load of corporate-speak. We were buoyed by the upbeat mood.

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November 23rd, 2011
04:28 PM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – China's mighty industrial machine is stalling. New figures today show something that will be worrying authorities.

First the broad numbers: An index put together by HSBC – with no government input - shows a reading in November of 48. Anything over 50 shows that factories are increasing production, under 50 they are cutting back.

The figure is perhaps not surprising given that China's two big export regions, Europe and the U.S., are in deep trouble. But it's not exports that are drying up, it is local demand. And that could be a problem.

Export orders actually grew in November, while domestic demand shrank as a result of all the moves taken by the Chinese authorities over the last 18 months to cool the overheating property market.

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November 23rd, 2011
07:00 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – China has surpassed the U.S. last quarter to become the world’s largest market for smartphones, according to a report by Strategy Analytics.

In the third quarter of this year, smartphone shipments were just shy of 24 million units, up 58%, according to the report released Wednesday. In the same quarter, smartphone units shipped in the U.S. fell 7% to 23.3 million units.

Nokia leads the smartphone market with a 28% share in China, followed by Samsung with a 17.6% share. HTC is the top maker in the U.S. with 24% market share, followed by Apple with just over 20%, according to the report. The U.S. still leads the world in smartphone sales by revenue, the authors of the report note.
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November 23rd, 2011
05:04 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - Global economic uncertainty is bringing some good news for U.S. exporters, as traders in Latin America have seen a reduction in buys from China in favor of closer-to-home suppliers.

"There are signals of an economic slowdown," Mario Nigrinis, Principal Economist at BBVA Bank Hong Kong told CNN, "we expect a slight deceleration."

Mexico, the largest Latin American importers of Chinese goods with US$46 billion in 2010, has seen purchase growth rates diminish, from 20.5% year-on-year in the first half of 2011, to 18.5% in the third quarter, to 13% in August, according to data compiled by BBVA.

Brazil followed a similar path, with growth rates contracting from 37% in the first half of this year to 26% in the third quarter.
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