Monday, December 27, 2010

Can China and India grow without Killing its people

Read these excerpts from today's news.  These are two very poor countries that are highly susceptible to  food inflation, and because the only reason their economies are thriving is wage arbritage, higher incomes are out of the question, this ends badly.  Please read below.

In the year to Dec. 11, India's food price index rose 12.13 percent, with the price of onions -- the country's most widely-eaten vegetable -- of especial concern, while the fuel price index climbed 10.74 percent. This compared with 9.46 percent and 10.67 percent respectively in the previous week.

“I dare not sell them,” the middle-aged fruit hawker said, explaining the absence of the popular “mandarin” tangerines from his cart. At eight yuan per half kilogram in the wholesale market, there was no point in him purchasing the oranges, Mr. Liang said, because no one would pay more than that for the fruit. “Everything is getting too expensive. … If this goes on, I'm afraid that people who earn 3,000 or 4,000 yuan ($607) a month soon won’t be able to buy fruit.

A 10.1-per-cent jump in food prices last month drove overall inflation to 4.4 per cent in October, the highest level in 25 months and well over the government’s annual target of 3 per cent.

With the nation's consumer inflation surging to 5.1 percent in November, the government is set to place greater emphasis on price stability next year. Banking industry insiders and economists are expecting a lower lending target for 2011, after many blamed the unprecedented credit lending of the past two years for pushing up prices.
Guo said he expects China's economy to grow 8 to 9 percent next year and credit growth will slow to 13 to 14 percent, compared with 19 percent this year.

The rising cost of food has sparked grumbling in the grocery aisles and growing concern among those who govern China’s 1.3 billion people. With most families spending half their income on food, the ruling Communist Party has long kept a close watch on food prices, viewing them as a possible trigger for unrest.
Others are less sanguine. Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management professor Patrick Chovanec says China is still dealing with the inflationary impact of 50-plus percent growth in money supply since the stimulus's launch, and will have trouble tightening up, Party pronouncements notwithstanding.
The abundance of cheap money has already driven up prices in assets such as luxury apartments, jade jewelry, and Chinese art. "Now this inflationary pressure is leaking out into the general economy," says Chovanec. He points out that the likely loan target for next year, although smaller than that of 2010, would still be over one and a half times the amount lent in 2008. "If anyone is printing money, it is China's central bank, not the U.S.," says Stephen Green, head of research for Greater China at Standard Chartered in Shanghai.

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