Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market House Prices Bull Market Trend Current State - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold and Silver End of Week Technical, CoT and Fundamental Status - Gary_Tanashian
3.Stock Market Dow Trend Forecast - April Update - Nadeem_Walayat
4.When Will the Stock Market’s Rally Stop? - Troy_Bombardia
5.Russia and China Intend to Drain the West of Its Gold - MoneyMetals
6.BAIDU (BIDU) - Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Stocks Investing To Profit from AI Mega-trend - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Stop Feeding the Chinese Empire - ‘Belt and Road’ Trojan Horse - Richard_Mills
8.Stock Market US China Trade War Panic! Trend Forecast May 2019 Update - Nadeem_Walayat
9.US China Trade Impasse Threatens US Lithium, Rare Earth Imports - Richard_Mills
10.How to Invest in AI Stocks to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
The Three M's of Hyperinflation : Milosevic, Mugabe, And Maduro - 26th May 19
Global Multi-Market / Asset Charts Review - 26th May 19
An Oil Shock Could Be the Black Swan That Finally Drives Gold Higher - 26th May 19
Brexit Party Forces Theresa May to Resign, Boris Johnson Next Tory Prime Minister? - 26th May 19
IBM - Investing in AI Machine Intelligence Stocks - 25th May 19
Seasonal Dysfunction: Why Generations of Gold and Silver Investors Are Having Such Difficulty - 25th May 19
Employment - The Good and the Bad of Job Automation - 25th May 19
Gold Mining Mid-Tier Stocks Fundamentals - 25th May 19
Buy This Pick-and-Shovel 5G Stock Before It Takes Off - 25th May 19
China Hang Seng Stocks Index Collapses and Commodities - 24th May 19
Costco Corp. (COST): Finding Opportunity in Five Minutes or Less - 24th May 19
How Free Bets Have Impacted the Online Casino Industry - 24th May 19
This Ultimate Formula Will Help You Avoid Dividend Cutting Stocks - 24th May 19
Benefits of a Lottery Online Account - 24th May 19
Technical Analyst: Gold Price Weakness Should Be Short Term - 24th May 19
Silver Price Looking Weaker than Gold - 24th May 19
Nigel Farage's Brexit Party EU Elections Seats Results Forecast - 24th May 19
Powerful Signal from Gold GDX - 24th May 19
Eye Opening Currency Charts – Why Precious Metals Are Falling - 23rd May 19
Netflix Has 175 Days Left to Pull Off a Miracle… or It’s All Over - 23rd May 19
Capitalism Works, Ravenous Capitalism Doesn’t - 23rd May 19
The Euro Is Bidding Its Time: A Reversal at Hand? - 23rd May 19
Gold Demand Rose 7% in Q1 2019. A Launching Pad Higher for Gold? - 23rd May 19
Global Economic Tensions Translate Into Oil Price Volatility - 22nd May 19
The Coming Pension Crisis Is So Big That It’s a Problem for Everyone - 22nd May 19
Crude Oil, Hot Stocks, and Currencies – Markets III - 22nd May 19
The No.1 Energy Stock for 2019 - 22nd May 19
Brexit Party and Lib-Dems Pull Further Away from Labour and Tories in Latest Opinion Polls - 22nd May 19
The Deep State vs Donald Trump - US vs Them Part 2 - 21st May 19
Deep State & Financial Powers Worry about Alternative Currencies - 21st May 19
Gold’s Exciting Boredom - 21st May 19
Trade War Fears Again, Will Stocks Resume the Downtrend? - 21st May 19
Buffett Mistake Costs Him $4.3 Billion This Year—Here’s What Every Investor Can Learn from It - 21st May 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast 2019 May Update - Video - 20th May 19
A Brief History of Financial Entropy - 20th May 19
Gold, MMT, Fiat Money Inflation In France - 20th May 19
WAR - Us versus Them Narrative - 20th May 19
US - Iran War Safe-haven Reasons to Own Gold - 20th May 19
How long does Google have to reference a website? - 20th May 19
Tory Leadership Contest - Will Michael Gove Stab Boris Johnson in the Back Again? - 19th May 19
Stock Market Counter-trend Rally - 19th May 19
Will Stock Market “Sell in May, Go Away” Lead to a Correction… or a Crash? - 19th May 19
US vs. Global Stocks Sector Rotation – What Next? Part 1 - 19th May 19
BrExit Party EarthQuake Could Win it 150 MP's at Next UK General Election! - 18th May 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast 2019 May Update - 18th May 19
US Economy to Die a Traditional Death… Inflation Is Going to Move Higher - 18th May 19
Trump’s Trade War Is Good for These 3 Dividend Stocks - 18th May 19
GDX Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals Update - 17th May 19
Stock Markets Rally Hard – Is The Volatility Move Over? - 17th May 19
The Use of Technical Analysis for Forex Traders - 17th May 19
Brexit Party Set to Storm EU Parliament Elections - Seats Forecast - 17th May 19
Is the Trade War a Catalyst for Gold? - 17th May 19
This Is a Recession Indicator No One Is Talking About—and It’s Flashing Red - 17th May 19
War! Good or Bad for Stocks? - 17th May 19
How Many Seats Will Brexit Party Win - EU Parliament Elections Forecast 2019 - 16th May 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

U.S. House Prices Analysis and Trend Forecast 2019 to 2021

China Inflation: Getting Worse and Coming To A Wal-Mart Near You

Economics / Inflation Feb 16, 2011 - 09:09 AM GMT

By: Dian_L_Chu

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleOn Tuesday Feb. 15, China reported its consumer prices (CPI) rose 4.9% year-over-year (yoy) in January, which came in less than expected. Economists were expecting 5.4% inflation, based on a Bloomberg survey.

However, after digesting the data, Asian markets closed mixed on that news, with China’s Shanghai Composite staying flat after a choppy trading session.


Well, the reason why markets reacted that way is because the lower figure is partly the beneficiary of a previously announced change--effective January 2011--in the weight of items included the CPI basket calculation.

Index Calculation Change

Food previously accounted for a third of the index calculation and was the main driver of inflation last year.  According to Blomberg, National Statistics Bureau (NSB) said that a reweighting of the CPI, including cutting the contribution from food, boosted the headline rate by 0.024%.

Bloomberg quoted Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. Saying that the CPI calculation shift effect is more like 0.2%. That is, without the change, the CPI may have been 5.1%.


Manwhile, NSB said the Producer Price Index (PPI) spiked 6.6% yoy in January after escalating at 5.9% in December.  The component calculation of the PPI also has been revised, including an addition of about 2000 products to the basket and adjusting the weightings.

The change reduced January’s yearly PPI inflation by 0.05%, which means the index would have seen an increase of 6.65% without the basket change.

Spilled Over to Non-food

Chinese statistic bureau did not disclose a breakdown of the basket for either index. So, the alterations made it quite impossible to directly compare the January data on an apple-to-apple basis to earlier months. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of clues.

First of all, it is evident that there's now a broadening escalations spilled over to non-food items as well. Core inflation, stripped of food, rose 2.6% yoy, the highest in at least a decade after rising 2.1% yoy in December.

Residence costs jumped 6.8% from a year ago, the most since August 2008. Not to mention food prices soared 10.3% after rising 9.6% in December - Grain escalated 15.1%, fresh eggs climbed 20.2%, and fruit spiked 34.8% from a year ago, according to the official report.

Previous Tightening Not Enough

Regardless which way you calculate, January also marks the fourth straight month that the inflation has exceeded Beijing's 4% target. This clearly illustrates measures taken by the Chinese government, e.g., multiple interest rate hikes, raising bank reserves requirement, and letting Yuan appreciate, have not been enough to control surging prices.

Furthermore, I personally prefer PPI as an inflation predictor and indicator, as it shows the coming pricing pressure that could be passed down through the supply chain. And the current reading of 6.6% just further supports the view that China’s inflation is far from being under control.

Feed the Inflation


China’s inflation problem could be attributed mostly to the over abundant money supply, increasing domestic demand from a growing middle class, and bad weather hurting food supplies. On top of these existing culprits, China may also increase retail gasoline and diesel prices to reflect higher international crude prices, People’s Daily said Feb. 11. China last increased fuel prices by around 4% on December 22.

Moreover, the worst drought in 60 years hitting China northern “wheat belt” will only putting more upward pressure on the already rampant food price inflation, although Beijing so far has downplayed it.

Increasing Input Costs

China’s money supply surged 48% in two years (which is not that different from the U.S. Fed’s QE), the flood of liquidity has been used mostly to speculate on commodities/raw materials instead of stimulating consumption.

As traditional industries, such as steel and textile, are hurting from rising input costs, the most alarming sign is the widening gap between PPI and CPI. This suggests producers and manufacturers have not been able to pass through the cost increase.

Eat, Pass Through 

So, eventually these companies most likely will eat some of the cost increase, which means shrinking margins, while exporting some more to their clients in Europe and the U.S.  And the companies that import goods from China will face the same dilemma --absorb or pass through the price increase. 

Since China’s economy relies heavily on manufacturing and traditional industries, the implication of lower profitability could pose a serious problem for many companies, and China’s economic growth. 

No Way Out

The importing countries, meanwhile, will likely also suffer from lower corporate margins and high consumer inflation.  The United States, a net importer with China in the supply chain of many corporations, will feel that inflationary pain all the way from this side of the Pacific Ocean. 

Even if the U.S. switches to importing from other trading partners, it will not make much of a difference, as other emerging economies are also suffering from the similar inflation headache. For instance, India’s benchmark wholesale-price index rose 8.23% in January, Indonesia’s inflation is 7% and South Korea’s is 4.1%.

Coming to a Wal-Mart Near You

Many economists predict that China will likely be forced to take stronger measures that could slow economic growth. Reuters reported China may increase the bank deposit reserve ratio to 23% from the current 19.5%, and the People's Bank of China (PBOC) is also expected to permit the yuan to rise further, according to a report by the State Information Centre under the National Development and Reform Commission. 

Japan’s Mizuho Research Institute predicted in December that China may raise interest rates up to six times by the end of 2011 (one rate hikes in Feb. 2011 so far).

Regardless when or what China’s doing to rein in inflation, it no doubt will put a brake on one of the very few bright spots in the world. While China’s busy tightening and dealing with the once in 60-year mass drought, consumer price inflation, and diminishing margins will likely crop up pretty much everywhere from mass retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, to high tech products from companies such as Apple, Hewlett Packard, and Dell.

Disclosure: No Postions

Dian L. Chu, M.B.A., C.P.M. and Chartered Economist, is a market analyst and financial writer regularly contributing to Seeking Alpha, Zero Hedge, and other major investment websites. Ms. Chu has been syndicated to Reuters, USA Today, NPR, and BusinessWeek. She blogs at Economic Forecasts & Opinions.

© 2011 Copyright Dian L. Chu - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules