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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Costs, food safety top list of worries

By Yang Jian (Shanghai Daily)

08:57, December 20, 2011

RISING consumer costs, home prices and food safety are the top concerns of the Chinese public in 2011, according to reports released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences yesterday.

More than 70 percent of Chinese families think that soaring consumer prices most influence their living standards and exert the greatest pressure on them, the 2011 Chinese social condition report and the 2012 social blue book said.

About 60 percent of people from both urban and rural areas said that soaring prices that are outpacing pay raises is the country's biggest social problem.

The average living expense rose 11.1 percent annually for people living in cities and towns from 2006 to 2010, but the growth rate of their annual incomes are dropping every year, the reports said.

Expenditures for clothes rose 12.5 percent annually from 2006 while that for food increased by 10.5 percent, according to the reports.

The gap between rich and poor is widening in China. Rising prices will have little impact on rich people, but will greatly affect most people, who are sensitive to rising prices, said Li Wei, director of the academy's research and development office.

Consumer inflation was also the top concern of Chinese families in the 2007, 2008 and 2010 surveys.

Rocketing housing prices became the second-biggest concern, with more than 54 percent of people citing them as among the biggest problems. The expense for a house is far beyond the expectations of most families, and about 85 percent of Chinese said they cannot afford to buy a home.

The third-biggest concern is food and drug safety. Food safety has long caused worry in China, especially after the melamine scandal in 2008, which killed at least six children and sickened about 300,000 others.

Other big concerns for the Chinese public include the widening gap between the rich and the poor and the corruption of government officials, the report said.

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CneeUIKeg at 2012-03-11109.230.216.*
Thank you, anonymous, for the link to the "Deflation leads to Hyperinflation" lacitre.I quote from that lacitre:"In 1920, Germany experienced a deflationary collapse, with the average citizen finding it harder and harder to get enough money for necessities. Banks, short of money, could not honor checks, and businesses were strapped for cash to buy materials and meet payroll. Fearing a collapse that would throw millions of workers out on the street, the German government desperately printed money in an attempt to re-inflate the economy. During this period, despite the government's money printing, the mark actually gained in value against foreign currencies, so that prices of imported goods fell by some 50%."This is precisely where we are today!The Fed is creating trillions of dollars and distributing them to failing banks and other institutions, and these organizations are hoarding the newly created dollars. People are holding on to their cash because 1) they perceive times are hard, and they need a cushion, and 2) prices are falling, so they can get more for less if they defer spending till later.But this psychology can, and will, change, if enough debt is retired and people begin to buy again (although not at the spending levels before the bubble burst). Then there will be no gain in deferring purchases, since prices will no longer be falling. In addition, if people fear that the government has created too much money, which could lead to inflation, this will also spur them to spend even more, creating a rush to get rid of dollars. This will be the turning point from price deflation to hyperinflation.The government is loading the system now with the money that will come flooding out, when the psychology of the people changes.--Mark V.

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