Asian Inflation Zapping US Pocketbooks

Fuel costs and weak buck promise to send US prices spiraling
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2008 4:12 AM CDT
Chinese laborers make shoes for export. Inflation is rising sharply in China and the price hikes there are being passed on to US consumers.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Cheap Asian imports have helped keep American inflation down for decades—but those days appear to be over, the New York Times warns. Rapidly rising costs of fuel, food and labor in countries like China, Vietnam, and Taiwan are beginning to be passed on to their export markets, just as the American dollar weakens and recession looms.

Inflation rates in the US still lag behind some skyrocketing levels in the developing countries that provide nearly half of American imports, but that could change as businesses skirt government efforts to control prices. The double-whammy at the US checkout may get even worse as worried central banks move away from the dollar, weakening the greenback even further.