Industrial production and foreign trade up, but the Yuan remains low
Beijing (AsiaNews) - In October, industrial production in China reached its highest level in over 19 months, showing signs of recovery from the global crisis. Several analysts attribute this growth to the low value of the Yuan and ask that it be appreciated.
According to figures published today by the statistics bureau, production increased by 16.1%, the strongest increase since March 2008.
Retail sales were up by 16.2%, showing that domestic consumption in China has also grown. The surplus in trade balance has doubled compared to September, reaching $ 24 billion, a sign that the reduction in exports, registered in the past months, has become less harsh: the minimum in 10 months.
The figures published today come just a few days from the meeting of the leaders of the Asia-Pacific area (APEC) in Singapore (14-15 November), where President Barack Obama will also speak. Obama almost certainly will ask China to appreciate the value of the Yuan, too undervalued and therefore considered able to impose itself unfairly in the export market. Premier Wen Jiabao has so far refused pressures on the value of the Yuan, hoping to increase exports even further and provide more jobs and more stability in his country.
Since July 2008, China has fixed the value of the Yuan at 6.83 to one U.S. dollar, with an increase of 21% compared to three years ago. But according to many economists, the real exchange rate should be 1 U.S. dollar to 3.821 Yuan (cf. AsiaNews.it, 09/12/2008 Economic crisis: US, China and the coming monetary storm).
There are also doubts whether all this apparent recovery is not due to the aid package against the crisis of $ 4 trillion Yuan (over 390 billion) launched by the government last year as well as the indiscriminate granting of bank loans. According to the World Bank, more than 80% growth this year was produced by State support.
At the grassroots level, among the population increasingly high consumer prices were registered. At the same time, tens of millions of migrant workers have been laid off (because of fall in exports), who have since been re-employed on a part time basis on even lower wages than before.