Rising Production Costs Join the List of What China Exports – Carter Dougherty
From International Herald Tribune via The New York Times:
During 20 years in the toy business, Anthony Temple has reveled in the bounty of cheap stuffed animals, coffee mugs and figurines on sale from China. But this year, his buying trip for his London-based company, Rainbow Designs, resulted in a rude awakening.
Traveling through the Pearl River delta north of Hong Kong, Mr. Temple found that cost increases ” for raw materials, but above all for labor ” dominated every discussion he had with suppliers.
Far from being keen to underbid each other, Chinese companies talked so consistently about marking up their prices 5 percent to 10 percent that Mr. Temple, whose company owns the British distribution rights to such cuddly creatures as Paddington Bear and Jemima Puddle-Duck, became convinced that these were not simply negotiating tactics. [Full Text]