Econintersect: Both exports and imports surged in January as the recovery from the slump in 2012 appears to be continuing in China. Year-over-year Chinese exports grew by 25% and imports by 28.8%. The numbers were almost 50% larger than had been expected.
Chinese New Year 2013 - Year of the Snake
The improvement over last year's numbers was boosted by the timing of the Chinese New Year holiday. In 2012 it fell in January but is being celebrated in February this year. Therefore a better year-over-year comparison will be made after the first two months of the year are in the books.
However, commentary generally expressed encouragement by the data. From Reuters, via the South China Morning Post:
“China’s economic conditions are improving and the trade data confirms the continuation of a recovery trend. Not just the trade data but retail, production and investment flows clearly show that the economy bottomed out in the third quarter last year,” said Hirokazu Yuihama, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo.
The balance of trade narrowed slightly in January to $29.2 billion from $31.6 billion in December. The concensus had been that the trade surplus for January would decline to $26.6 billion.
Simon Rabinovitch, in the Financial Times, led with the headline:
China trade growth hints at strong 2013
- China reports better than expected trade data (BBC, 07 February 2013)
- Asian shares inch higher on solid China trade data (Reuters, South China Morning Post, 08 February 2013)
- China Trade Balance declines to 29.2B in Jan from 31.6B (FxStreet.com, 08 February 2013)
China's exports, imports accelerate in January (V. Phani Kumar, Market Watch, 07 February 2013)
- China trade growth hints at strong 2013 (Simon Rabinovitch, Financial Times, 08 February 2013)