China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA -

The govern­ment should work to en­sure that mi­grant work­ers re­ceive their over­due wages be­fore Spring Fes­ti­val, Premier Li Ke­qiang said at a State Coun­cil ple­nary meet­ing on Thurs­day.

Qiu Xiaop­ing, vice-min­is­ter of hu­man re­sources and so­cial se­cu­rity, said on Thurs­day that lo­cal gov­ern­ments PMI has fallen be­low 50, which sep­a­rates con­trac­tion from ex­pan­sion in the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try.

A PMI subindex to show the out­put sit­u­a­tion slipped slightly to a three-month low of 51.3 in Jan­uary, com­pared with 51.4 in De­cem­ber. The new-or­ders com­po­nent fell by 1.8 points to 49.8 in Jan­uary, the low­est read­ing since Au­gust.

Qu Hong­bin, HSBC’s chief econ­o­mist in China and the co-head of Asian Eco­nomic Re­search, said the mar­ginal con­trac­tion of Jan­uary’s pre­lim­i­nary PMI fig­ure was should make the is­sue of pay­ing mi­grant work­ers’ over­due wages their top pri­or­ity be­fore Spring Fes­ti­val.

For com­pa­nies that owe mi­grant work­ers large amounts of money and can­not pay due to fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties, gov­ern­ments at var­i­ous lev­els should raise mainly the re­sult of cool­ing do­mes­tic de­mand con­di­tions.

“This im­plies soft­en­ing growth mo­men­tum for man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors, which has al­ready weighed on em­ploy­ment growth,” he said.

Qu sug­gested the pol­icy tilt to­ward sup­port­ing growth to avoid re­peat­ing growth de­cel­er­a­tion seen in the first half of 2013 amid rel­a­tively mod­er­ate in­fla­tion.

HSBC will re­port the fi­nal man­u­fac­tur­ing PMI on Jan 30, and the of­fi­cial man­u­fac­tur­ing PMI on Feb 1.

In De­cem­ber, the

of­fi­cial funds to pay the mi­grant work­ers in ad­vance, Qiu said.

Hot­lines to call in com­plaints about over­due wages were pub­lished in some me­dia out­lets, and the com­plaints will be dealt with in 24 hours, Qiu said.

In Novem­ber, the Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and man­u­fac­tur­ing PMI re­treated to 51 from 51.4 in Novem­ber, a four-month low, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics.

The growth of in­dus­trial out­put slowed to 9.7 per­cent in De­cem­ber, the low­est level since July, com­pared with 10 per­cent in Novem­ber and 10.3 per­cent in Oc­to­ber, the NBS said.

Wang Tao, chief Chi­nese econ­o­mist at UBS AG, said that the slow­down in credit growth since the third quar­ter of 2013 and tight liq­uid­ity have de­cel­er­ated in­dus­trial and in­vest­ment growth. So­cial Se­cu­rity and seven other govern­ment agen­cies con­ducted a na­tion­wide sur­vey on the pay­ment of mi­grant work­ers’ wages. On Dec 19, the min­istry and seven other govern­ment agen­cies em­pha­sized that pay­ing over­due wages should be the pri­or­ity.

“A big­ger risk in 2014 is likely to come from do­mes­tic liq­uid­ity and credit volatil­ity,” she said.

“The govern­ment is at­tempt­ing to achieve a tight­en­ing bias to slow credit growth; and the rapid de­vel­op­ment of China’s shadow bank­ing ac­tiv­i­ties has made the sys­tem more sen­si­tive to both a credit event in the shadow credit mar­ket and reg­u­la­tory tight­en­ing.” Con­tact the writ­ers at chen­jia1@chi­ and lix­i­aokun@chi­nadaily.

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