Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
The Beatings Will Continue Until the Economy Improves - 6th Jul 20
The Corona Economic Depression Is Here - 6th Jul 20
Stock Market Short-term Peaking - 6th Jul 20
Gold’s Major Reversal to Create the “Handle” - 5th July 20
Gold Market Manipulation And The Federal Reserve - 5th July 20
Overclockers UK Custom Build PC Review - 1. Ordering / Stock Issues - 5th July 20
How to Bond With Your Budgie / Parakeet With Morning Song and Dance - 5th July 20
Silver Price Trend Forecast Summer 2020 - 3rd Jul 20
Silver Market Is at a Critical Juncture - 3rd Jul 20
Gold Stocks Breakout Not Confirmed Yet - 3rd Jul 20
Coronavirus Strikes Back. But Force Is Strong With Gold - 3rd Jul 20
Stock Market Russell 2000 Gaps Present Real Targets - 3rd Jul 20
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Big Pharma Stock for Machine Learning Life Extension Investing - 2nd Jul 20
All Eyes on Markets to Get a Refreshed Outlook - 2nd Jul 20
The Darkening Clouds on the Stock Market S&P 500 Horizon - 2nd Jul 20
US Fourth Turning Reaches Boiling Point as America Bends its Knee - 2nd Jul 20
After 2nd Quarter Economic Carnage, the Quest for Philippine Recovery - 2nd Jul 20
Gold Completes Another Washout Rotation – Here We Go - 2nd Jul 20
Roosevelt 2.0 and ‘here, hold my beer' - 2nd Jul 20
U.S. Dollar: When Almost Everyone Is Bearish... - 1st Jul 20
Politicians Prepare New Money Drops as US Dollar Weakens - 1st Jul 20
Gold Stocks Still Undervalued - 1st Jul 20
High Premiums in Physical Gold Market: Scam or Supply Crisis? - 1st Jul 20
US Stock Markets Enter Parabolic Price Move - 1st Jul 20
In The Year 2025 If Fiat Currency Can Survive - 30th Jun 20
Gold Likes the IMF Predicting a Deeper Recession - 30th Jun 20
Silver Is Still Cheap For Now - 30th Jun 20
More Stock Market Selling Ahead - 30th Jun 20
Trending Ecommerce Sites in 2020 - 30th Jun 20
Stock Market S&P 500 Approaching the Precipice - 29th Jun 20
APPLE Tech Stock for Investing to Profit from the Machine Learning Mega trend - 29th Jun 20
Student / Gamer Custom System Build June 2020 Proving Impossible - Overclockers UK - 29th Jun 20
US Dollar with Ney and Gann Angles - 29th Jun 20
Europe's Banking Sector: When (and Why) the Rout Really Began - 29th Jun 20
Will People Accept Rampant Inflation? Hell, No! - 29th Jun 20
Gold & Silver Begin The Move To New All-Time Highs - 29th Jun 20
US Stock Market Enters Parabolic Price Move – Be Prepared - 29th Jun 20
Meet BlackRock, the New Great Vampire Squid - 28th Jun 20
Stock Market S&P 500 Approaching a Defining Moment - 28th Jun 20
U.S. Long Bond: Let's Review the "Upward Point of Exhaustion" - 27th Jun 20
Gold, Copper and Silver are Must-own Metals - 27th Jun 20
Why People Have Always Held Gold - 27th Jun 20
Crude Oil Price Meets Key Resistance - 27th Jun 20
INTEL x86 Chip Giant Stock Targets Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing for 2020's Growth - 25th Jun 20
Gold’s Long-term Turning Point is Here - 25th Jun 20
Hainan’s ASEAN Future and Dark Clouds Over Hong Kong - 25th Jun 20
Silver Price Trend Analysis - 24th Jun 20
A Stealth Stocks Double Dip or Bear Market Has Started - 24th Jun 20
Trillion-dollar US infrastructure plan will draw in plenty of metal - 24th Jun 20
WARNING: The U.S. Banking System ISN’T as Strong as Advertised - 24th Jun 20
All That Glitters When the World Jitters is Probably Gold - 24th Jun 20
Making Sense of Crude Oil Price Narrow Trading Range - 23rd Jun 20
Elon Musk Mocks Nikola Motors as “Dumb.” Is He Right? - 23rd Jun 20
MICROSOFT Transforming from PC Software to Cloud Services AI, Deep Learning Giant - 23rd Jun 20
Stock Market Decline Resumes - 22nd Jun 20
Excellent Silver Seasonal Buying Opportunity Lies Directly Ahead - 22nd Jun 20
Where is the US Dollar trend headed ? - 22nd Jun 20
Most Shoppers have Stopped Following Supermarket Arrows, is Coughing the New Racism? - 22nd Jun 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

AI Stocks 2020-2035 15 Year Trend Forecast

China’s Foxconn Will Hurt the Global Economy More Than the BP Oil Spill

Companies / Corporate News Jun 22, 2010 - 05:27 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Companies

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleMartin Hutchinson writes: Before this month, chances are pretty good that you'd never even heard of Taiwan's Foxconn International Holdings (PINK ADR: FXCNY). And yet, Foxconn is one of the world's most important manufacturers.

Given that the formerly anonymous giant is now at the forefront of the zooming escalation in labor costs that's currently taking place in Mainland China - and given the enormous implications of the inflationary pressures that will result - chances are excellent that Foxconn will have a bigger effect on the world economy this year than even BP PLC (NYSE ADR: BP).


If that weren't enough, China's decision to let the yuan appreciate against the U.S. dollar will actually magnify this impact: If the Chinese currency strengthens, then the yuan-denominated wage increases will have an even-more-inflationary effect on the cost of China-made goods selling at your local Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT).

Foxconn, which trades on the Taiwan stock exchange as Hon Hai Precision Industries Inc. (PINK: HNHPF), is the world's largest contract manufacturing company: In its factories in Shenzhen, on the Chinese mainland, it employs 300,000 people, and makes most of the electronic gadgetry that we all crave.

The Foxconn/Hon Hai client list - and its product list - is a veritable who's who of computers and consumer electronics. At one time or another, in addition to motherboards for Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), cell phones for Nokia Inc. (NYSE ADR: NOK) and the iPod and iPhone for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), the contract-manufacturing giant has produced - at the same time - all three of the major gaming consoles: The Sony Inc. (NYSE ADR: SNE) PlayStation, the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox and the Nintendo Co. Ltd. (OTC ADR: NTDOY) Wii.

Despite such impressive credentials, until recently Foxconn was a quiet giant - that is, until 10 workers killed themselves and another three attempted suicide, all over a dispute about wages.

As a result, Foxconn has offered its work force a 30% pay raise, with an additional 60% if incentive targets are met.

So how does a wage dispute - albeit a tragic one - half a world away figure to impact the world economy in a manner that's deeper - and with a more-lingering impact - than the BP oil-spill catastrophe?

The answer is simple: The economic effects of the current revolution in China's labor costs are immense. And that was before Beijing decided to let the yuan appreciate against the U.S. dollar.

Challenges to Ongoing Growth
Beijing engineered the immense growth in the Chinese economy during the last two decades by intentionally allowing investment to expand at the expense of consumption. With a population of 1.3 billion, it appeared that cheap labor would always be available, so wages failed to keep pace with growth.

Consumption has declined from 45% of China's gross domestic product (GDP) a decade ago to 35% today, compared with around 70% in Western economies. Meanwhile, the Gini coefficient of inequality has increased from around 40% to close to 50%, giving China - nominally a Communist country - an inequality problem almost as large as Brazil.

Eventually, even in a disciplined Asian society ruled by a police state, the populace noticed they were receiving little benefit from all the growth. More important, even in China, the supply of subsistence rural labor is not infinite, as Foxconn found in its gigantic factory. This year has thus seen a rash of strikes - including, for example, in the large Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE ADR: HMC) operation in Southern China.

There can be no doubt that Foxconn is merely the leader of a trend; rapidly escalating pay awards will spread throughout Chinese manufacturing in the coming months. Competitors will need to keep up with the trend toward higher wages - or risk the disappearance of their work forces.

In theory, international companies could simply shift their sourcing to other countries, where wages remain cheaper. There are a few such countries - most notably Vietnam and Indonesia - where this might be advantageous.

However, most very poor countries are so badly governed - and possess such poorly educated and poorly trained work forces - that there is no cost advantage to be gained from locating any type of operation there, not even a labor-intensive manufacturing plant. The reason: The productivity that's lost offsets any wage costs gained.

India, one other potential destination, has its own inflation problem right now. That country's wholesale prices are up 16% in the past year, and it is also experiencing a rise in labor militancy and high wage awards.

For the global economy, this implies that the increasingly-ever-cheaper imports that modern telecoms and globalization have brought us since about 1995 may no longer be available.

How to Invest in This "New Reality"
The "holiday from history" of ultra-low interest rates without inflation that the West has enjoyed since 1995 - and particularly since 2000 - is over.

Going forward, two forces will push prices higher:

•The direct cost of Chinese manufactured goods.
•And the higher commodity prices needed to satisfy newly wealthy Chinese consumption desires. (When fast income growth comes to poor countries, it produces demand for things like washing machines, housing and cars that take a lot of materials.)
A yuan that rises against the U.S. dollar could well be a third factor that helps send prices higher - in China, in the United States, and in many markets around the world.

For us as investors, there are three implications.

First, the gold play remains a good one - we can now see the inflation coming, even if it is still a few months away. Another traditional inflation hedge - Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) - merits study.

Second, of course, Chinese consumer-goods companies are just a great buy. Don't put too much money into Chinese infrastructure companies or the big state-owned behemoths. Instead, look for companies making products and services on which the Chinese people will want to spend their new higher incomes.

Third, China will export these inflationary pressures into the U.S. market, meaning investors must position themselves for this eventuality. Western-made products with strong consumer brands will be in demand in China as household incomes rise, meaning those top brands will be worth a close look. The rising yuan will also help U.S. exporters become more competitive, since their wares will become cheaper on a relative basis.

But the imports on which the rich nations too intently depend will rise in price. Thus, inflation will return to the "rich" countries - via the poor ones. For investors, the accompanying erosion of purchasing power will be difficult to deal with.

Companies such as Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) - which have been able to export throughout the recession - will find their margins fattening and their export volumes buoyant. All three are worth a closer look.

[Editor's Note: Money Morning readers are often amazed by Martin Hutchinson's profit-focused instincts - as evidenced by his unerring ability to paint a picture of what's to come. He's able to show us the big profit opportunities that are still over the horizon - while also warning us about the potentially ruinous pitfalls hidden just around the corner.

So it's no surprise that Hutchinson has pulled off a string of forecasting successes in the face of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression - a financial crisis that, not surprisingly, Hutchinson is widely credited for having predicted and warned about well ahead of time.

With his "Alpha Bulldog" investing strategy - the crux of his Permanent Wealth Investor advisory service - Hutchinson has managed to combine dividends, gold and growth into a winning, but low-risk formula that has generated some eye-popping returns for subscribers.

To take a moment to find out more about the opportunities related to dividends, gold, "Alpha-Bulldog" stocks and The Permanent Wealth Investor, please click here. You'll find the time well spent.]

Source: http://moneymorning.com/2010/06/22/foxconn/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2010 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or 72 hours after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules