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China: Exports decline in September for third consecutive month

October 13, 2015

In September, exports fell 3.7% over the same month last year, which followed the 5.5% decline tallied in August. September’s contraction, which was less than the 6.0% decrease that market analysts had expected, represented a third consecutive month of decline. Imports plunged 20.4% annually in September, which followed the 13.8% decline tallied in August. September's plunge, which was worse than the 16.0% drop that market analysts had expected, marked the eleventh straight month of contraction, adding to concerns of slowing domestic demand in China.

Due to the sharp drop in imports, the trade surplus totaled USD 60.3 billion in September (August: USD 60.2 billion), which was higher than the USD 31.0 billion in the same month last year. The 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus rose from USD 547 billion in August to USD 576 billion in September, hitting an all-time high.

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, Head of Economic Research

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China Trade Chart


China Trade12m September 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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