China Trade Balance


Trade surplus widens in May

In May, the trade surplus widened, supporting the notion that the trade balance will turn positive again after having recorded the first deficit since 2004 in the first quarter. In May, exports jumped 19.3% over the same month last year, which was below the 29.8% expansion tallied in April and fell short of the 20.4% rise expected by the markets. On the other hand, imports grew 28.4%, overshooting the previous month's 21.8% increase and beating market expectations of 22.0% growth. The strong import result indicates that domestic demand remains resilient, dissipating fears of a hard landing. The trade balance climbed from USD 11.3 billion in April to USD 13.1 billion in May, which was well below the USD 19.8 billion expected by the market. Imports from Japan slowed markedly after the 11 March Tohoku earthquake. In January, imports from Japan jumped 47.3% over the same month last year, while in April and May the outturn increased only 4.6% and 7.8% respectively. On the other hand, purchases from the United States and the European Union expanded a vigorous pace.

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