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China’s manufacturing performance from a multilateral perspective: 1980−2004

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This paper examines international competitiveness of China’s manufacturing industry during the period of 1980−2004 from a multilateral perspective in terms of purchasing power parities, relative price levels, labor productivity and unit labor costs. The various measures of PPPs in China’s manufacturing industry are found to be approximately 3.7 RMB per international dollar in the base year 1997. Since the mid-1980s, the relative price of China’s manufacturing products has been declined and is the lowest compared with the US, UK, Germany, Japan and South Korea. The unit labor cost is found to show a declining trend with some fluctuation. The labor productivity of China’s manufacturing industry is relatively low and is found to converge with other countries since 1992.


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