- Thanks to George W. Bush's handling of the U.S. economy, the value of the Dollar is the weakest ever (he says this is a good thing, I say it's good for some, but bad for others - he also says he favors a "strong dollar" so, as usual, he's talking out of both sides of his mouth).
- We are in "stagflation" in the USA - our cost of living is increasing, but our income is decreasing (Thanks W!).
- In response to Washington's demands on China, the RMB (Chinese Yuan or CNY) has been somewhat "unpegged" from the U.S. Dollar (in mid-2005), and has been adjusting ever since.
This means several things:
- The artwork, wages, transport, and our other costs have effectively increased by about 13.5% since mid-2005.
- In that time, cost of living has increased by about 12-15% in the USA.
- Also, the cost of living is skyrocketing in Beijing (location of our headquarters) as the Olympics approach (good old Capitalism is fully embedded in China, and means plenty of price gouging).
- Our artwork is a real bargain for European, UK, Australian, and Canadian customers (as if it wasn't a bargain before). At least this is good for some people.
In simple terms, the graph shows how our costs have increased since mid-2005.
In technical terms, it's an exponential increase in costs, with no end in sight.
I have just returned from an art-buying adventure, covering about 3000 miles within China to visit many of my artist-friends, and buy a lot of new artwork (about 1200 pieces). I am now in the process of slowly adjusting the prices on many items. I probably should have done this two years ago, but I just hate to increase prices. As of today, I am not even half-way done. So if you see a good deal, take it now - tomorrow, the price could be 5-20% higher.