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Sliding Canton Fair orders signal poor outlook for producers

Chinese manufacturers and foreign buyers gather at the Canton Fair, China's largest trade show.

GUANGZHOU, China -- Foreign orders at China's leading trade show slipped 7.4% as the nation's labor costs soared and the economy slowed, forecasting a grim half for exporters.

     Chinese producers and overseas buyers at this year's autumn session of the China Import and Export Fair, better known as the Canton Fair, signed contracts for $27 billion in goods, down from $29.1 billion last fall. The session ended Wednesday.

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