QUOTA-FREE CHINA REACHING GLOBAL DOMINANCE
Statistics from the first month after quotas ended on textiles and
apparel from around the world show China may be prepared to dominate
the global market. In January 2005 imports to the United States from
China jumped about 75 percent, according to trade figures released
by the Chinese government.
In January, the United States imported more than $1.2 billion in textiles
and apparel from China, up from about $701 million a year ago.
The situation has caused some in the United States to worry about
American manufacturing plants being closed and thousands of jobs being
lost. But as world markets continue to open, other factors—such
as fluctuating currency and pressure from other exporting countries—eventually
could limit China’s dominance.
MARKET OF THE FUTURE TARGETED BY ONLINE MERCHANTS
“The more they can read about trends, see makeovers, know what’s
cool and then buy it, the better,” says Jane Buckingham president
of the Intelligence Group, a New York consulting company owned by
the Creative Artists Agency. In an interview with The New York Times
in February, Buckingham wasn’t talking about the average consumer;
she was talking about teenage consumers, the newest target of online
According to Teenage Research Unlimited, a consulting group in Northbrook,
IL, the population of teenagers will reach about 34 million within
the next five years, up about 500,000 from present.
The company adds that about 49 percent of adolescent boys have bought
something online, versus 41 percent of teenage girls. Fifty-four percent
of 16- and 17-year-olds have shopped online.
SPECULATORS SPURRED 2004 RECORD HOME SALES
Housing sales continued strong through February of this year, but
one thing seems to have changed: according to a report by the National
Association of Realtors, speculators are buying at a pace that far
exceeds previous estimates.
Investors (representing 23 percent of 2004 home sales) and second-home
buyers (representing 13 percent) bought more than one of every three
homes sold in last year’s record market, the report says.
The data suggest real estate is taking a new role in the nation’s
economy. No longer just a place to live, it’s becoming an alternative
investment to stocks and bonds.