China exports inflation

China has been a major source of price deflation for the past decade. It is now the world’s leading manufacturer of a whole range of products from microwaves to DVDs. And the rest of the world has benefited from the lower prices that it has provided.

But not any more. The attached chart from the ACC’s weekly report shows that import prices from China into the USA increased by a record 3.3% in January. The trend is also worrying. For years, import prices were falling at around 1% a year. Now they are on a steep upward path.

I noted last week that the renminbi is now rising at an annualised 13% rate, whilst Chinese wage inflation is running at 18%. This implies that import prices from China could continue to rise over the next few months.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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