Rising wages in China could be good news for U.S.

Workers assemble televisions on the production line of Tianle Group Co., Ltd on July 3, 2012 in Shengzhou of Zhejiang Province, China.

Jeremy Hobson: Last week China reported its slowest pace of economic growth in three years. But over the weekend, the country revealed a silver lining. Wages for urban households in China rose 13 percent in the first half of this year.

And as Marketplace's Rob Schmitz reports from Shanghai, that could be good news for the U.S. economy.


Rob Schmitz: More money in the pockets of Chinese workers means more domestic buying power.

And more buying power from the world’s fastest rising consumer class is good for U.S. businesses says CLSA economist Andy Rothman, who works in Shanghai.

Andy Rothman: If you look at the big U.S. companies that have invested here recently, people like Ford or GM; they’re all selling here, they’re not exporting.

Rothman says for U.S. companies, you don’t even have to relocate to China to get-in on the rising buying power of the Chinese.

Andy Rothman: If you look at the growth rate of U.S. exports to China since they joined the WTO, it’s up over five hundred percent. One of the reasons for that is that wages are going up which means people can afford to buy more American goods.

Here’s one glaring example: The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting that this year China’s going to pass Canada to become the largest single market for U.S. agricultural exports.

 In Shanghai, I’m Rob Schmitz for Marketplace.

 

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

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