Third-quarter data for mainland economic growth is just a week away and the optimism that anticipated the second quarter's gross domestic product release has all but evaporated since. Two months of softening data have left investors decidedly more pessimistic about economic growth, but not completely suicidal. A majority of respondents to BlackRock's Economic Cycle survey since July see the mainland economy getting weaker during the third quarter. Analysts at Westpac beg to differ, believing that the 12-month outlook for the economy is a little stronger than three months ago. The logic is that the US is picking up and that it has the most spillover effect on to China, according to the International Monetary Fund; mainland policy settings are in "easing" mode; and housing, at its lowest ebb, has only one way to go. Watch this space.