China Export Hub Hikes Minimum Wages by 19%

Minimum wages in Guangdong, where thousands of factories and workshops churn out goods for the domestic and overseas markets, went up by 20% in May.

China's main export region in the south will raise minimum wages by an average 18.6 %, marking the second hike in less than a year.

The increase announced by the Guangdong provincial government this week follows similar moves across the country as Beijing seeks to address the widening wealth gap even as it battles to rein in inflation.

The move will lift the minimum monthly wage in the provincial capital of Guangzhou to 1,300 yuan ($197), up from 1,100 yuan in most parts of the city, the government said earlier this week.

Minimum wages in Guangdong, where thousands of factories and workshops churn out goods for the domestic and overseas markets, went up by 20% in May.

China has been raising minimum wages to help boost domestic consumption and relieve pressure on households struggling to keep up with rising food and property prices. But higher incomes also help fuel inflation, which topped 5% in November for the first time in more than two years.

The consumer price index, a key measure of inflation, slowed to 4.6% in December but state media warned on Jan. 21 that prices could rise by more than 6% at times during the first half.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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