Monday, September 24, 2012

Wage inflation in the works?

One of the causes of real inflation is rising wages. Much of American labor has been outsourced to China over the last decade. So the U.S. has had a period of low inflation indirectly. This is the result of our currency being held artificially strong by the actions of the Chinese govt. and other governments, in Asia in particular. Their buying of U.S. dollars as they flow into their countries and then printing their local currency while loaning the US dollars back to the U.S. govt by buying U.S. Treasurys has kept the U.S. dollar strong while interest rates have stayed low. This is an artificial situation that cannot last forever.
There is news out of China today of a riot at a Foxconn plant. Foxconn is the large producer of electronic equipment that supplies the likes of Apple. There have been problems at their plants with the labor force in the recent past.
The recent slowdown in China is likely to exacerbate the tensions between production and labor. The Chinese govt. at some point will have to allow their currency to rise and in effect give their workers a pay raise by the increased purchasing power of their money. There may even be a push for actual higher wages in order to placate a workforce that increasingly sees the rest of the world prospering as they stagnate.
This will spur inflation across the globe. The same forces that worked for disinflation over the years will reverse and inflation will be the export of the chinese and asian economys. This will be a long term occurrance and will be combatted by the labor and investment in Africa and other places. But asia is established and will not turn over their supremacy in production willingly.
These trends, combined with the recent liquidity that is in the world will have the potential to create a highly inflationary trend that may be hard to reverse.
These developments, that have been in the making for years, are the reason for the strength in gold and the resources that has resurfaced lately.
Here is the news out of China:

Control risk

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