The Chinese Inflation, 1937-1949

By Shun-Hsin Chou | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III Consumption and Investment: Inflationary Pressures in the Private Sector

The purpose of this chapter is to study the inflationary pressure arising from the nongovernment sectors in terms of consumption and investment expenditures. It is hoped that the study of consumption expenditures will demonstrate the behavior of the household sector, and the study of investment expenditures will show the behavior of the business sector during the Chinese inflation. The business sector refers to the activities of both government and nongovernment business enterprises. 1


INFLATIONARY PRESSURE FROM PRIVATE CONSUMPTION

In the following discussion of Chinese consumption, several facts should be noted. First the private consumption of the Chinese economy will be studied only in terms of a few essential consumer goods, rather than on the basis of comprehensive social accounts, because of the unavailability of necessary statistics of China's national income and of products for the years under consideration. Any decrease in the supply during the inflation compared with the prewar supply will be construed to reflect the inflationary pressure on the economy arising from the household sector. This assumes that the demand for consumer goods during the Chinese inflation was about the same as the prewar demand. This approach admittedly is a very crude way of studying consumption. It however should be noted that in view of the absence of an effective progressive taxation, the nonexistence of any significant rationing system, and the immunity of the business, industrial, and agricultural incomes from the

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