China: Exports expand at fastest pace in nearly two years
February 8, 2013
The external sector showed resilience at the outset of the year, despite the distortion caused by the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday. In January, exports soared 25.0% over the same month last year, which was well above the 14.1% increase seen in the previous month. In addition, the print overshot market expectations that had shipments increasing 17.5% and marked, in fact, the largest monthly gain since April 2011. As a result of the strong monthly reading, in the 12 months up to January exports grew 10.0% over the corresponding period last year (December: +7.9% year-on-year).
Imports expanded 28.8% over the same month last year (December: +6.0% yoy). The reading came in above market expectations of a 23.5% rise and represented the fastest growth rate in eleven months. As a result, imports expanded 7.7% in the 12 months ending January (December: +4.3% yoy).
Meanwhile, the trade surplus reached USD 29.2 billion in January, broadly in line with the USD 27.1 billion witnessed in the same month the year before. Accordingly, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance rose from USD 231 billion in December to USD 233 billion in January.