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Economic Forecast Based on 'Feng Shui' Predicts Robust Growth for China

An annual economics forecast based on traditional Chinese "feng shui" says China is entering a 20-year period of robust growth.

Using an offbeat mixture of "feng shui" and modern economic analysis, Hong Kong investment bank CLSA says red is an unlucky color for the year of the monkey. Under the lunar calendar used informally in much of Asia, the year of the monkey begins January 22.

Feng shui is a Chinese geomancy practice that seeks to harmonize the elements - metal, wood, water, fire and earth, and to evaluate fortunes for the coming year.

CLSA analyst Kenny Lau says China is entering a very lucky period, with strong growth in gross domestic product this year. The country, however, may face some shortages in raw materials. "GDP growth we have a very aggressive assumption of 11 percent growth," he says.

Under the Chinese horoscope, he says, gold will be a good buy this year because that element will be prominent. He predicts gold will rise to about $500 an ounce from its current price of $425. CLSA's chief economist in Asia, Jim Walker, says Hong Kong will benefit from China's strong growth. He predicts GDP growth of 8.4 percent for the city. "Hong Kong's future has never looked better," he says. "Money flocks to money and Hong Kong has the money, and it's going to start flowing in from China."

According to the annual report, strong earth, water and wood elements mean Hong Kong's property, construction and tourism sectors will continue to recover from a long slump.

CLSA forecasts that several prominent people will have good luck this year. Those born in the Year of the Dragon, such as Hong Kong tycoon Li-Ka-Shing will prosper. The report also predicts that President Bush, born in the year the dog, will be re-elected.

For those who invest by betting on sports, CLSA analyst Jay Bhatt says some soccer teams may struggle this year because of their red uniforms. "The good colors will be blue, green, black and yellow. It's bad for the reds - that includes Portugal, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands."