Reuters : Global consumer goods companies have been banking on emerging markets to drive their growth, so signs on Thursday that sales have come off the boil in the once-booming economies of China and India could set alarm bells ringing. Unilever, Nestle and drinks group Pernod Ricard all pointed to slower progress in key Asian markets as a factor for muted sales growth over the last three months but for the time being are keeping targets intact. Packaged goods companies like these have been relying more on emerging markets to offset changing habits in developed economies, where growing numbers of consumers are turning to fresher foods, niche brands or cutting back on spending. Yet two of the biggest emerging markets are now showing signs of slowing growth, with trade tensions with the United States hitting domestic consumption in China and more erratic and damaging monsoons curbing rural spending in India.
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