Do you want to be able to listen to and understand the financial news in English? It takes a lot of practice and vocabulary to do it and you need to do it regularly so that can keep up with the people, companies and situations that are currently being talked about. But with consistent practice, you can do it. Check out this video on the situation in China…
I recommend that the first time, you relax and just try to get the gist of the conversation. What is happening? Who is involved? And… why?
Then, read the vocabulary list below to help you with some of the more difficult terms.
- wrestling inflation- to wrestle is to fight so if you are wrestling with inflation, you are fighting to keep the prices down
- treading cautiously- being careful
- slamming the brakes on economic growth- in your car, if you slam on the brakes, you stop. If you slam the brakes on the economic growth, you stop the growth
- price pressures- factors that push prices up or down
- tightening of monetary policy- when the short-term interest rates are raised so that there is less spending in the economy
- eroded already-thin profit margins- the profits were already small but now they are even less or none
Now, listen one more time and see if you can catch the details.
Try to answer these questions:
- What happened to the price of pork?
- How much have food prices risen from last year?
- Why is the price of eggs connected with the price of pork?
- What do the experts think will happen at the end of this year?
- What three factors caused the rise in egg prices?
- Do the experts think that the Chinese government is doing enough to tackle inflation?
Could you do it? If you have any questions, you can check the text below and you can check your answers to the questions as well. Keep watching this blog for more practice to help you to understand the news.
China’s August inflation down.
China’s inflation pulled back in August from a three-year high. Official data, released Friday, showed that China’s inflation fell to 6.2% in August from 6.5 in July. The data underlines expectations that price pressures have peaked and that China’s central bank can’t hold on further tightening of monetary policy but food prices are still volatile with pork a major factor behind inflation pressures. Food prices jumped more than 13% in August from a year earlier and consumers are puzzled.
The current pork price is too expensive for me to buy it every day. I can only afford to buy pork once or twice a week. The price changes every day. It is insanely high now.
Beijing-based Global Insight analyst Shung Fung Ren warns that a rise in the price of pork will put pressure on other food prices.
The price of grain, potatoes and garlic all went up and eventually, pork prices also rose. Pork is a very important element in Chinese inflation because whenever there is high inflation, pork prices will become volatile. Pork prices have not yet been stabilized and they are now beginning to affect other products like eggs because they are also high in protein.
Price pressures are widely expected to cool gradually towards the end of this year as economic growth slows, but not fast enough to meet the Chinese government’s full-year inflation target of 4%. China’s inflation has settled small- and mid-sized companies like Beijing’s Shin Chicken Farm with higher costs and eroded already-thin profit margins.
The rapid increase of egg prices in triggered by the rise in employees’ salaries, logistic costs and foodstuff prices. As a result of the soaring costs, the retail price of eggs is up to 10 Juan per kilogram. There’s barely any room left for us to make a profit.
Chinese leaders have repeatedly stressed that wrestling inflation remains the top policy priority despite signs that economic growth is slowing down but analysts say that policy makers are treading cautiously for fear of slamming the brakes on economic growth.
Toshi Maeda, Reuters.
What happened to the price of pork?
It has increased and caused inflation.
How much have food prices risen from last year?
Food prices have increased 13% on last year.
Why is the price of eggs connected with the price of pork?
They are both high in protein. (consumers replace pork with eggs when pork is too expensive)
What do the experts think will happen at the end of this year?
Slowing economic growth will ease price pressures.
What three factors caused the rise in egg prices?
Egg prices rose because of the rise in employees’ salaries, logistic costs and foodstuff prices.
Do the experts think that the Chinese government is doing enough to tackle inflation?
No. They think that they are being cautious so that they don’t stop the economic growth.