China Trade Balance


Exports contract in September

In September, exports fell 0.3% over the same month last year, which contrasted both the 7.1% rise seen in August and market analysts' expectations of a 5.5% climb. According to analysts, the unexpected fall partially reflects distortions stemming from fake trade invoices, which were used to bring money into the country a year ago. This downward trend is likely to continue going forward unless the government revises past trade data.

Imports expanded 7.4% in September, which marks an acceleration over the 7.0% rise tallied in August. The increase came in above market expectations of a 7.0% rise.

The trade balance recorded a surplus of USD 15.2 billion, which was smaller than the USD 27.5 billion surplus recorded in in the same month last year. The September balance undershot market expectations of a USD 26.3 billion surplus. Accordingly, the 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus fell from USD 266 billion in August to USD 254 billion in September.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that merchandise exports will grow 8.3% in 2013 (USD 2.2 trillion) while the trade surplus will widen to USD 266 billion, up from USD 231 billion in 2012. For 2014, the panel expects exports to increase 8.0% and the trade surplus to remain stable at USD 266 billion.

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China Trade Balance Chart

China Trade12m September 2013

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