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
Silver Bull Market Update - 7th Aug 20
This Inflation-Adjusted Silver Chart Tells An Interesting Story - 7th Aug 20
The Great American Housing Boom Has Begun - 7th Aug 20
NATURAL GAS BEGINS UPSIDE BREAKOUT MOVE - 7th Aug 20
Know About Lotteries With The Best Odds Of Winning - 7th Aug 20
Could Gold Price Reach $7,000 by 2030? - 6th Aug 20
Bananas for All! Keep Dancing… FOMC - 6th Aug 20
How to Do Bets During This Time - 6th Aug 20
How to develop your stock trading strategy - 6th Aug 20
Stock Investors What to do if Trump Bans TikTok - 5th Aug 20
Gold Trifecta of Key Signals for Gold Mining Stocks - 5th Aug 20
ARE YOU LOVING YOUR SERVITUDE? - 5th Aug 20
Stock Market Uptrend Continues? - 4th Aug 20
The Dimensions of Covid-19: The Hong Kong Flu Redux - 4th Aug 20
High Yield Junk Bonds Are Hot Again -- Despite Warning Signs - 4th Aug 20
Gold Stocks Autumn Rally - 4th Aug 20
“Government Sachs” Is Worried About the Federal Reserve Note - 4th Aug 20
Gold Miners Still Pushing That Cart of Rocks Up Hill - 4th Aug 20
UK Government to Cancel Christmas - Crazy Covid Eid 2020! - 4th Aug 20
Covid-19 Exposes NHS Institutional Racism Against Black and Asian Staff and Patients - 4th Aug 20
How Sony Is Fueling the Computer Vision Boom - 3rd Aug 20
Computer Gaming System Rig Top Tips For 6 Years Future Proofing Build Spec - 3rd Aug 20
Cornwwall Bude Caravan Park Holidays 2020 - Look Inside Holiday Resort Caravan - 3rd Aug 20
UK Caravan Park Holidays 2020 Review - Hoseasons Cayton Bay North East England - 3rd Aug 20
Best Travel Bags for 2020 Summer Holidays , Back Sling packs, water proof, money belt and tactical - 3rd Aug 20
Precious Metals Warn Of Increased Volatility Ahead - 2nd Aug 20
The Key USDX Sign for Gold and Silver - 2nd Aug 20
Corona Crisis Will Have Lasting Impact on Gold Market - 2nd Aug 20
Gold & Silver: Two Pictures - 1st Aug 20
The Bullish Case for Stocks Isn't Over Yet - 1st Aug 20
Is Gold Price Action Warning Of Imminent Monetary Collapse - Part 2? - 1st Aug 20
Will America Accept the World's Worst Pandemic Response Government - 1st Aug 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More – Part II - 1st Aug 20
Trump White House Accelerating Toward a US Dollar Crisis - 31st Jul 20
Why US Commercial Real Estate is Set to Get Slammed - 31st Jul 20
Gold Price Blows Through Upside Resistance - The Chase Is On - 31st Jul 20
Is Crude Oil Price Setting Up for a Waterfall Decline? - 31st Jul 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More - 30th Jul 20
Why Big Money Is Already Pouring Into Edge Computing Tech Stocks - 30th Jul 20
Economic and Geopolitical Worries Fuel Gold’s Rally - 30th Jul 20
How to Finance an Investment Property - 30th Jul 20
I Hate Banks - Including Goldman Sachs - 29th Jul 20
NASDAQ Stock Market Double Top & Price Channels Suggest Pending Price Correction - 29th Jul 20
Silver Price Surge Leaves Naysayers in the Dust - 29th Jul 20
UK Supermarket Covid-19 Shop - Few Masks, Lack of Social Distancing (Tesco) - 29th Jul 20
Budgie Clipped Wings, How Long Before it Can Fly Again? - 29th Jul 20
How To Take Advantage Of Tesla's 400% Stock Surge - 29th Jul 20
Gold Makes Record High and Targets $6,000 in New Bull Cycle - 28th Jul 20
Gold Strong Signal For A Secular Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Anatomy of a Gold and Silver Precious Metals Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Shopify Is Seizing an $80 Billion Pot of Gold - 28th Jul 20
Stock Market Minor Correction Underway - 28th Jul 20
Why College Is Never Coming Back - 27th Jul 20
Stocks Disconnect from Economy, Gold Responds - 27th Jul 20
Silver Begins Big Upside Rally Attempt - 27th Jul 20
The Gold and Silver Markets Have Changed… What About You? - 27th Jul 20
Google, Apple And Amazon Are Leading A $30 Trillion Assault On Wall Street - 27th Jul 20
This Stock Market Indicator Reaches "Lowest Level in Nearly 20 Years" - 26th Jul 20
New Wave of Economic Stimulus Lifts Gold Price - 26th Jul 20
Stock Market Slow Grind Higher Above the Early June Stock Highs - 26th Jul 20
How High Will Silver Go? - 25th Jul 20
If You Own Gold, Look Out Below - 25th Jul 20
Crude Oil and Energy Sets Up Near Major Resistance – Breakdown Pending - 25th Jul 20
FREE Access to Premium Market Forecasts by Elliott Wave International - 25th Jul 20
The Promise of Silver as August Approaches: Accumulation and Conversation - 25th Jul 20
The Silver Bull Gateway is at Hand - 24th Jul 20
The Prospects of S&P 500 Above the Early June Highs - 24th Jul 20
How Silver Could Surpass Its All-Time High - 24th Jul 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

Why Devaluing the Yuan Won't Help China's Economy

Economics / China Economy Aug 27, 2015 - 06:19 PM GMT

By: Frank_Shostak

Economics

Earlier this month, the Chinese government decided to depreciate its currency on three consecutive occasions. On August 13, the price of the US dollar was trading at 6.413 — an increase of 3.3 percent against July. The key factor behind the central bank’s lowering of the yuan is a sharp decline in the growth momentum of exports with the yearly rate of growth falling to minus 8.3 percent in July from 2.8 percent in June.


It is held that by means of currency depreciation that it is possible to strengthen the export of goods and services, thereby strengthening the gross domestic product (GDP), which currently displays a visible weakening. The yearly rate of growth of real GDP stood at 7 percent in Q2 against 7.5 percent in Q2 last year and 8.6 percent in Q1 2012.

According to popular thinking, the key to economic growth is demand for goods and services. It is held that increases or decreases in demand for goods and services are behind rises and declines in the economy’s production of goods. Hence in order to keep the economy going economic policies must pay close attention to overall demand.

Why Governments Devalue Currencies to Boost Exports

Now, part of the demand for domestic products emanates from overseas. The accommodation of this demand is labeled “exports.” Likewise, local residents exercise demand for goods and services produced overseas, which are labeled “imports.” Observe that while an increase in exports implies an increase in the demand for domestic output, an increase in imports weakens demand. Hence exports, according to this way of thinking, are a factor that contributes to economic growth while imports are a factor that detracts from the growth of the economy.

From this way of thinking it follows that since overseas demand for a country’s goods and services is an important ingredient in setting the pace of economic growth, it makes a lot of sense to make locally produced goods and services attractive to foreigners. One of the ways to boost foreigners’ demand for domestically produced goods is by making the prices of these goods more attractive.

One of the ways of boosting their competitiveness is for the Chinese to depreciate the yuan against the US dollar. Based on this one can reach the conclusion that as a result of currency depreciation, all other things being equal, the overall demand for domestically produced goods is likely to increase while also lowering Chinese demand for American goods. This in turn will give rise to a better balance of payments and in turn to a stronger economic growth in terms of GDP. What we have here, as far as the Chinese is concerned, is more exports and less imports, which according to mainstream thinking is great news for economic growth.

Why an Exports Boost Fueled by Depreciation Can’t Grow the Economy

When a central bank announces a loosening in its monetary stance this leads to a quick response by participants in the foreign exchange market through selling the domestic currency in favor of other currencies, thereby leading to domestic currency depreciation. In response to this, various producers now find it more attractive to boost their exports. In order to fund the increase in production, producers approach commercial banks which — on account of a rise in central bank monetary pumping — are happy to expand their credit at lower interest rates.

By means of new credit, producers can now secure resources required to expand their production of goods in order to accommodate overseas demand. In other words, by means of newly created credit, producers divert real resources from other activities. As long as domestic prices remain intact, exporters record an increase in profits. (For a given amount of foreign money earned they now get more in terms of domestic money.) The so-called improved competitiveness on account of currency depreciation in fact amounts to economic impoverishment. The improved competitiveness means that the citizens of a country are now getting fewer real imports for a given amount of real exports. While the country is getting rich in terms of foreign currency it is getting poor in terms of real wealth (i.e., in terms of the goods and services required for maintaining people’s life and well being).

As time goes by, the effects of loose monetary policy filters through a broad spectrum of prices of goods and services and ultimately undermines exporters’ profits. A rise in prices puts an end to the illusory attempt to create economic prosperity out of thin air. According to Ludwig von Mises,

The much talked about advantages which devaluation secures in foreign trade and tourism, are entirely due to the fact that the adjustment of domestic prices and wage rates to the state of affairs created by devaluation requires some time. As long as this adjustment process is not yet completed, exporting is encouraged and importing is discouraged. However, this merely means that in this interval the citizens of the devaluating country are getting less for what they are selling abroad and paying more for what they are buying abroad; concomitantly they must restrict their consumption. This effect may appear as a boon in the opinion of those for whom the balance of trade is the yardstick of a nation's welfare. In plain language it is to be described in this way: The British citizen must export more British goods in order to buy that quantity of tea which he received before the devaluation for a smaller quantity of exported British goods.

Contrast the policy of currency depreciation with a conservative policy where money is not expanding. Under these conditions, when the pool of real wealth is expanding, the purchasing power of money will follow suit. This, all other things being equal, leads to currency appreciation. With the expansion in the production of goods and services and consequently falling prices and declining production costs, local producers can improve their profitability and their competitiveness in overseas markets while the currency is actually appreciating.

The economic slowdown in China was set in motion a long time ago when the yearly rate of growth of the money supply fell from 39.3 percent in January 2010 to 1.8 percent by April 2012. The effect of this massive decline in the growth momentum of money puts severe pressure on bubble activities and in turn on various key economic activity data. Any tampering with the currency rate of exchange can only make things much worse as far as the allocation of scarce resources is concerned.

Frank Shostak is an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute and a frequent contributor to Mises.org. He is chief economist of M.F. Global. Send him mail. See Frank Shostak's article archives. Comment on the blog.

http://mises.org

© 2015 Copyright Frank Shostak - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 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