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China Trade Balance January 2018

China: Imports surge in January ahead of Lunar New Year

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.

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