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China Economy Feels Like 2% Growth: CEO

Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 5:43 PM ET
Source: International Paper

China’s economy may not be growing anywhere near the headline numbers of 7 percent, International Paper’s CEO John Faraci told CNBC’s "Closing Bell."

“I think China is growing at something far less than 7 percent,” Faraci said. “They’ve slowed down. It feels to us like 2 or 3 percent.”

Half of the paper packaging company’s China customers are exporters while the other half are companies that sell domestically, the executive noted.

“If you look at things like electricity power consumption it’s flat, that should tell you something about the level of economic activity,” he said.

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International Paper just announced a 14 percent dividend increase. What was behind the decision to use cash on the balance sheet in this way as opposed to a different avenue? John Faraci, chairman & CEO of International Paper, weighs in.

As International Paper watches customer orders, the global economy feels like it's going sideways, Faraci said. That's true of the U.S. and Brazil which are "basically flat." But the company is still growing in some emerging market like Russia.

While global growth may be sluggish, International Paper's cash flow has also been strong. The company hiked its dividend 14 percent on Tuesday to $1.20.

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