China, Russia may trigger interest hike

Feb. 15, 2007 at 4:01 PM
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TORONTO, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Interest rates will rise when China, Russia and other developing countries fully compete in global markets, former U.S. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan says.

Employment in China, the former Soviet Union and other developing countries no longer operating in insulated, controlled economies "has had a dramatic effect on wage patterns throughout the world," Greenspan told a Toronto conference.

This has kept inflation down and induced "a dramatic increase in economic growth," the former Federal Reserve chairman said in a talk broadcast via satellite from Washington.

The 80-year-old economist said economic growth in the past five years has been "the most dramatic that I recall for the world as a whole," The Toronto Star reported. But "it can't last forever," he said.

Once developing economies fully compete in global markets, then wage rates, inflation and interest rates could start to move up. He did not say when he thought that would happen.

Until then, Greenspan said, "I suggest we all enjoy it for as long as it is going on."

Greenspan also said North America's addiction to oil could trigger an energy crisis.

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