By George Chen
The opinions expressed are the author’s own.
What might you do in the next 48 hours in China? A number of things — how about rushing to nearby supermarkets to stock up on soap and shampoo if you are a price-sensitive consumer?
Retail prices for those products are set to rise sharply in China from next month. At least two industry leaders — Procter & Gamble and Unilever — were reported by Chinese media to have decided to lift detergent and soap prices by up to 15 percent next month.
State television on Monday showed images of empty store shelves in some cities as residents raced to hoard P&G and Unilever products before the price rises went into effect.
However, officials and statisticians in Beijing seemed less worried about rising inflation. Last month, we heard that the spokesman of powerful economic the planner, National Development and Reform Commission, said inflation should peak in February. Then Yi Gang, deputy governor of People’s Bank of China, the central bank, assured investors that the government was confident that inflation would not to exceed the 4 percent target for the year.
It’s easy to speak but difficult to act. We know your target but the question is, of course, how will you make it happen? I mean in the market, for Chinese consumers, and not just for the sake of the statistics that are rapidly losing credibility among ordinary Chinese people as real life fails to improve.