Friday, August 21, 2015

Devaluation of the Yuan Affects California's Economy

To shopping centers throughout the Southland, busloads of Chinese tourists are a necessary and regularly expected source of income. Especially in summer months, some places like the Beverly Center get an average of 70 such buses per month, full of tourists ready to spend. Shan Li, Samantha Masunaga, and Andrew Khouri wrote recently in their L.A. Times article about how recent devaluation of the Chinese yuan could have positive and negative effects on various California businesses.

Where 2.2 million Chinese tourists to the U.S. spent nearly $24 billion in 2014, 12.6% more than in 2013, many expect that such spending will likely slow down in the coming months. Up until recently, tourists found that their money would stretch much further on brand-name products in California than in China, but as the yuan loses value, that is beginning to change. Furthermore, even as a decrease in tourism hurts stores and shopping centers, it also affects sales on a larger scale. For certain luxury brands, like Coach, a decrease in sales to tourists leads to a decrease in earning, which causes stock prices to fall.

The current economic trifecta in China (slowing of the economy, devaluation of the currency, and a crackdown on political corruption) has led tourists to become more careful with their spending, according to Li, Masunaga, and Khouri. However, they point out that while the yuan loss in value hurts local retailers, it can actually be quite helpful for importers. For U.S. businesses that import Chinese products, the devaluation of the yuan means that the dollar stretches much further than it did before. Since importers will take advantage of this situation and increase purchasing, experts predict that California's ports will get plenty of use in the coming months. This will help to provide jobs for dockworkers, truck drivers, and warehouse workers.

Unfortunately for exporters, such positive outcomes are not likely. They are expected to suffer far more than local businesses due to the fact that import taxes in China can range as high as 20 to 30%.
Some tourists who come to the U.S. regularly anyway to visit family or send their children to summer camp may continue shopping in the U.S. for such luxury goods, but it wouldn't make economic sense for Chinese companies to continue importing American goods when the value of the yuan is so far outweighed by the value of the dollar. Costs would be much higher, especially on top of the exorbitant import taxes, and so it would be unlikely that American exporters would find business improving while the yuan's devaluation continues.

As Louis Glickman once said, "The best investment on Earth is earth." Analysts expect that as the yuan's value continues to plunge, Chinese investors will slow down the purchase of American products and focus on American real estate. Since the dollar remains relatively steady, many such investors will prefer to "park" their money in a building, rather than hold onto the quickly-devaluing cash. The increasing prevalence of property investment could help to dull the effects of the reduction in retail. However, economists warn that China's economy is connected to our own. If China's economy starts to fail, then that won't be good news for the U.S.

Find out more about us at Any Questions? Contact our Escrow Expert! Sepulveda Escrow Corporation (818) 838-1831. Follow our company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.

No comments:

Post a Comment