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China emerging markets lead global recovery

CHINA and other emerging markets continued to lead the global economic recovery in the third quarter with further improvement in the fourth quarter, an HSBC index said.

The HSBC Emerging Markets Index surged by the strongest quarterly rise since the second quarter of 2008 to 55.3 in the third quarter of this year, the London-based financial giant said.

Any reading below 50 indicates a contraction of output while readings above 50 signal expansion.

"As the world's economic center of gravity shifts from West to East, the economic strength of emerging markets will play an increasingly central role in the development of financial markets and international relations," said Stephen Green, group chairman of HSBC Holdings Plc.

The index has rebounded sharply from an all-time low of 43.8 recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.

On a quarterly comparison, the index of manufacturing and service output was up from 50.7 in the second quarter of this year.

HSBC compiled the index with data from the purchasing managers' index in 13 countries or territories such as China, Mexico, Brazil, Russia and India.

"Although the United States remains the most important trading partner for many emerging nations, its relative importance is declining," said Stephen King, HSBC's chief economist. "Increasingly, emerging markets trade with each other."

King said he expected emerging nations to post economic growth of 6 percent next year while the developed world would expand by only 1.8 percent.

Michael Geoghegan, group chief executive of HSBC, said it was clear that emerging markets had real dynamism and momentum compared to some misfiring economies in the West after he traveled through Asia, Latin America and the Middle East this month.

"The index shows that emerging markets continue to power the growth in the global economy," he said.

The next quarterly index will be released on January 7, 2010.


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