When you get to a certain age, you can use the words “China Crisis” in a header, and nobody will have a clue what you are talking about, except some sort of a crisis, perhaps, in China. Anyway, that is what global groceries’ giant Unilever has experienced in the third quarter, and we aren’t talking about any mid 80s pop duo, either. Sales in the Asian behemoth are down you see, to the tune of 20%, driven thither by a deflating property bubble, a crackdown on corruption and weak demand from Europe. And this has contributed to a downturn at Le Grand Bleu, where sales were down 2% for the quarter, to €12.2billion. On the upside, sales on the North American continent, home to Canada, Mexico and the United States, were up a slight but hopeful 0.6%.
Comment: Corrections in the world’s largest economy may be a bitter pill to swallow right now, but may pay more sustainable dividends in the long run.