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China: Trade data in October continue to disappoint

November 9, 2015

In October, exports fell 6.9% over the same month last year, which followed the 3.7% decline tallied in September. October’s contraction, which was below the 3.0% decrease that market analysts had expected, represented a fourth consecutive month of decline. Imports fell 18.8% annually in October, which followed the 20.4% decline tallied in September. October’s plunge, which was worse than the 16.0% drop that market analysts had expected, marked the 12th 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 61.6 billion in October (September: USD 60.2 billion), which was higher than the USD 45.6 billion in the same month last year. The 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus rose from USD 577 billion in September to USD 593 billion in October, 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, Lead Economist

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China Trade12m October 2015 1

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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