hackingbear writes "The New York Times is warning of the possibility of price inflation for gadgets, cars, and many other items, not from our skyrocketing government debt, but rather the increasing cost of doing business in China. Coastal factories are raising salaries, local governments are hiking minimum wage standards, and if China allows its currency, the renminbi, to appreciate against the US dollar later this year, the cost of manufacturing in China will almost certainly rise. (The report missed the biggest cost factors in China — electric and water utility costs.) 'For a long time, China has been the anchor of global disinflation,' said Dong Tao, an economist at Credit Suisse. 'But this may be the beginning of the end of an era.' The shift was dramatized Sunday, when Foxconn, the maker of the iPhone and everything else, said that within three months it would double the salaries (rather than the rumored 20% increase) of many of its assembly line workers."
"And last week, the Japanese auto maker Honda said it had agreed to give about 1,900 workers at one of its plants in southern China raises of between 24 and 32% in the hopes of ending a two-week-long strike, according to people briefed on the agreement. However, while big and famous manufacturers, like those in the US and Europe, may worry about their PR images and give in to labor demands, it is unclear if thousands of smaller ones will follow. And given the millions of people waiting for work in other countries, from India to Vietnam, the only thing that may have changed is the prevalence of Made in China labels of your gadgets."
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