China Trade Balance January 2018


China: Imports surge in January ahead of Lunar New Year

February 8, 2018

Exports expanded 11.1% annually in January, coming in slightly above both December’s 10.9% increase and the 10.7% rise that market analysts had expected.

Meanwhile, imports surged to a 36.9% expansion over the same month last year in January, which overshot December’s 4.5% expansion. January’s print represented the strongest expansion since March 2017 and was way above the 10.6% increase that market analysts had expected. The surge largely reflects distortions related to the Lunar New Year holidays, which occurs in Mid-February this year compared to end-January in 2017.

The trade surplus narrowed from USD 48.9 billion in January 2017 to USD 20.3 billion in January 2018 (December 2017: USD 54.7 billion surplus). The 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus plunged from December’s USD 423 billion to USD 394 billion in January.

Exports will expand 4.5% in 2018, bringing the trade surplus to USD 470 billion. In 2019, exports will rise 3.7%, pushing up the trade surplus to USD 492 billion.

Author:, Economist

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China Trade Balance Chart

China Trade12m January 2018

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China and FocusEconomics calculations.

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