Washington Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s surprise visit Thursday to China yielded no immediate change in China’s currency policy. But analysts predicted the Obama administration’s efforts to mend frayed relations will result in a currency change, possibly within weeks.
A move to let the yuan rise in value against the dollar would benefit U.S. exporters. The undervalued Chinese currency has made Chinese goods cheaper for American consumers. But it’s hurt U.S. companies by making their products costlier in China.
Analysts cautioned, though, that any appreciation of the yuan will likely be gradual. They suggested that a rise in the yuan’s value would be limited to 3 percent to 5 percent annually. That would be similar to the process China adopted in 2005, only to halt in 2008 as the global economic crisis deepened.