China exports inflation

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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. He also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry and the global economy over the next 12 – 18 months. It looks behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in critical areas such as oil prices, China and Emerging Markets, currencies, autos, housing, economic growth and the environment. 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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