As mentioned in another post, I think inflation is high and likely higher than the official figures and economists' forecasts. I recently read a well written report from a noted economist that is sticking to his long-term deflationary forecasts.
He and others could be correct, but from my standpoint - mostly as a consumer - I see the opposite:
- Inflation is a big worry amongst Mainland Chinese with almost two-thirds citing it as their biggest concern according to a recent FT blog.
- A friend put some numbers to my inkling that supermarket prices have increased. After a few weeks away from HK she noticed that a jar of basic yogurt had increased from HK$19 to HK$24, or 26%. This seems about right. I've noticed that basic items such as bread, fruit, and vegetables seem to be significantly more expensive in the last several months.
- The menu at my local Vietnamese restaurant has taped over prices with higher ones. I've seen this in other restaurants.
- Hong Kong taxi fares will increase 7-9% in December 2013 (article is here)
- Hong Kong's "10 Dollar Store” should now be referred to as the "12 Dollar Store". Likely anticipating more price changes, the chain was renamed, "Living Plaza", from "Jusco $10 Plaza". (This actually happened a year ago as reported here). Format of the store is similar to Japan’s 100-yen store. Virtually everything the store is the same low price. (A friend's wife - a Japanese speaker - noted that Japan’s 100-yen stores have NOT raised their prices in many years and that they have better quality products).
But from the ground level, I see more evidence of inflation.