– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on October 29, Thursday.
Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is heading to China Wednesday to bolster the country's trade ties with China, leaving a growing storm behind at home over her stance on Europe's migrant crisis.
Germany is China's largest European Union trading partner, with German foreign direct investment in China totaling 48 billion euros, according to the German Chamber of Commerce.
In 2014, bilateral trade reached a record high of 154 billion euros ($235.5 billion).
Unsurprisingly for a country known for its car production, autos account for one third of German exports to China and it's no accident that Merkel is taking the embattled new chief executive of scandal-hit Volkswagen, as well as around 20 other German execs, on the trade visit.
With the stakes high for Germany in terms of trade relations, Europe's largest economy is keeping a firm eye on China and watching its well-reported slowdown with concern. The visit comes at a time when things are not so rosy for Merkel back home either as she faces growing voter dissatisfaction over her handling of the European migration crisis.
As thousands of migrants reached Europe this summer with many fleeing civil war in Syria, Merkel surprised many by opening up Germany's borders in order to let thousands of asylum seekers into the country.
The move was a hard test for European solidarity and a number of countries in the eastern bloc criticized Germany's move, which made their countries conduits for thousands of migrants trying to reach more prosperous northern Europe.
While many German voters were initially supportive of Merkel's stance, the tide could now be turning. Germany's government also appears to have been overwhelmed by the number of people arriving (the country expects to receive 800,000 people this year) and local authorities are under increasing pressure.
"We can and will manage this integration" she said, although she conceded the country's refugee policy was "far from perfect." Voters are becoming less supportive of her accommodating stance and Merkel, a former favorite of the German electorate, has seen her popularity rating fall to a four-year low.
Merkel's mission to China comes hot on the heels of a trade boon for the U.K. last week after Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the country in which $62 billion worth of deals were sealed. French President Francois Hollande will also travel to China on Sunday for a two-day state visit.
Even though Christmas is just around the corner, data suggests consumers are preparing to spend big on Halloween.
The National Retailer Federation (NRF) estimates 157 million Americans will celebrate the festive holiday and spend nearly $7 billion this year, with costumes accounting for the largest expense. The average purchase will average approximately $74 per shopper, according to the NRF.
It's not just adults and kids dressing up as princesses and pirates. The organization said consumers will spend an additional $350 million on pet costumes and assorted accessories, to treat and trick out their beloved pets.
Nine in 10 (93.7%) Halloween shoppers will buy candy, spending a total of $2.1 billion, and an additional 33.5 percent will buy greeting cards, spending a total of $330 million. Two in five celebrants (44.8%) plan to decorate their home or yard, meaning there's no question consumers will see their fair share of pumpkins, hay bales and even life-size Minions and black cats strewn across their neighborhoods. The average person planning to buy decorations will spend $20.34 with total spending expected to reach $1.9 billion.
With Disney princesses holding court as some of the most popular costume options for young girls, some consider Halloween as important as fashion. analysts paid attention to all trends which this year point towards the dark side of the aisles, with a new "Star Wars" movie looming on the horizon.
"The coolest thing to be this year is the bad guy," Parrott said, with "more Darth Vaders, Sith Lords and Walking Dead zombies."
He added that the trends gets younger each year, with more kids wanting to dress as their favorite villain, just as much as they seek to buy costumes of popular super hero favorites such as Batman.
"However people will always spend money on themselves or their children," he says. "So a chance to dress up and play pretend is always good business."
With the business of ghosts and ghouls booming, pop-up Halloween stores are becoming a more popular and viable business model. While Parrott admits the sales generated from Halloween are a huge revenue boost for retailers, he says the haunted holiday isn't quite the sales Super Bowl as some may think.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.
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