PREMIER STRESSES PAYING MIGRANT WORKERS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and lixiaokun@chinadaily. com.cn