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China: Exports contract in November for fifth consecutive month

December 8, 2015

In November, exports fell 6.8% over the same month last year, which followed the 6.9% decline tallied in October. November’s contraction exceeded the 5.0% decline that market analysts had expected and represented the fifth consecutive monthly drop. Imports fell 8.7% annually in November, which followed the 18.8% decline tallied in October. While November’s decline was better than the 12.6% drop that market analysts had expected, it represented the 13th straight month of contraction, adding to concerns about the state of domestic demand in China.

Due to the softer drop in imports, the trade surplus totaled USD 54.1 billion in November (October: USD 61.6 billion), which was marginally lower than the USD 54.9 billion in the same month last year. The 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus declined slightly from USD 593 billion in October to USD 592 billion in November.

The government expects total merchandise trade to expand 6.0% this year. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that merchandise exports will grow 2.6% in 2015, while imports will decrease 6.6%, thus driving the trade balance to a surplus of USD 573 billion. For 2016, the panel expects exports to increase 7.1% and imports to rise 6.3%, while the trade surplus will widen to USD 628 billion.


Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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China Trade12m November 2015

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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