This ad will auto close in 10 seconds

Falling prices, not markets, the real headache for Chinese firms

The dramatic collapse of China`s stock markets has shaken global investors, but for Chinese factory executives the real problem is a decline of another kind - the remorseless erosion of profits thanks to nearly four years of price deflation.

Slow start to 2014 for world shares as China disappoints

European stocks had started the year at a 5-1/2 year high, but an initial push higher proved short-lived despite the upbeat data as London's FTSE, Paris's CAC 40 and Frankfurt's Dax dropped 0.5, 0.6 and 0.5 percent respectively.