Chinese factories are losing pricing power in the worst wholesale-cost deflation since 2009, signaling corporate earnings may deteriorate further and putting a damper on global inflation pressures.Cure Is Time and Price
Steelmaker China Oriental Group Co. (581) says falling prices are wiping out profits, while Yunnan Copper Industry Co. (000878) cited the declines for a third-quarter loss. The producer-price index (SHCOMP) fell 3.6 percent in September from a year earlier and may stay negative until the second half of 2013 without large stimulus, according to Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd.
With the U.S. reporting the longest stretch in three years that Chinese imports have gone without a price increase, the trend also gives policy makers around the world more room for easing to support faltering global growth. Sluggish earnings growth may prompt the government to reduce corporate taxes to aid earnings and help boost spending after China?s expansion slowed for a seventh quarter.
?Reduced inflation pressure should expand the space for policy makers to take pro-growth actions in their countries,? said Shen Jianguang, chief Asia economist at Mizuho in Hong Kong. Chinese officials are likely to reduce banks? reserve requirements ahead of a Communist Party congress next month, said Shen, who formerly worked at the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.
Falling earnings have weighed on Chinese stocks this year. The nation?s benchmark gauge, the Shanghai Composite Index, has declined 3 percent in 2012, heading for the third straight annual drop.
The cure is time and price, not more misguided monetary stimulus or more infrastructure spending.
Yet, not unexpectedly, I counted six sentences in the above article from at least four different analysts or government figures calling for more stimulus of some sort.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock