China's latest export is inflation. After falling for years, prices of Chinese goods sold in the United States have risen for the last eight months.
Soaring energy and raw material costs, a falling dollar and new business rules here are forcing Chinese factories to increase the prices of their exports, according to analysts and Western companies doing business here.
The rise was a modest 2.4 percent over the last year. But even that small amount, combined with higher energy and food costs that also reflect China's growing demands on global resources, contributed to a rise in inflation in the United States. Inflation in the United States was 4.1 percent in 2007, up from 2.5 percent in 2006.
Because of new cost pressures here, American consumers could see prices increase by as much as 10 percent this year on specific products -- including toys, clothing, footwear and other consumer goods -- just as the United States faces a possible recession.