China: Exports Shoot Up

June 8th, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect: China had the largest trade surplus in more than five and a half years in May.  The value was $359.2 billion increasing 7.2% year-over-year and breaking-news-130px7up almost 100% from April.  Except for five months in the second half of 2008, this is the largest trade surplus in history.  Exports rose by by 7% year-over-year while imports contracted by 1.6%.   Except for Japan exports showed strong month-over-month increases to all major trading partners.  The EU and Taiwan had the largets increase (13.4% and 14.7%, respectively) while sales to China's largest trading partner, the U.S. grew by 6.3%.  Sales to ASEAN countries were up by 9.1% but Japan increased by only 2.2%.

Follow up:

china-balance-of-trade-2004-1014-may

Some analysts are discounting the surge in exports as a one-off event.  The logic of that argument is that the decline in imprts indicates a sluggish economy and is not what would be expected for exports entering a persistent period of strength.  Econintersect is reminded that in the first few months of 2013 export numbers were being padded with fake invoices.  These were being used as a means to provide conduits for "hot money".  Could something like that be happening again?

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