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China: Trade data show sharp deterioration in November

December 8, 2014

In November, exports increased 4.7% over the same month last year, which was a sharp deterioration over the 11.6% expansion tallied in October. The print undershot the 8.2% increase that market analysts had expected and represented the weakest growth in seven months. Imports recorded the sharpest drop since March, falling 6.7% annually in November. The print contrasted the 4.6% increase observed in the previous month and came in well below the 3.9% expansion that market analysts had expected.

As a result of the underperformance in imports, the trade balance surplus posted the largest monthly surplus on record. The trade surplus widened to USD 54.5 billion in November (October 2014: USD 45.4 billion) from the USD 33.7 billion recorded in the same month last year. Moreover, the print overshot market expectations of a USD 43.5 billion surplus. The 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus jumped from USD 335 billion in October to USD 356 billion in November, which represented the highest level on record.

The government set the growth target for the total volume of exports and imports at 7.5% for this year. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that merchandise exports will grow 6.2% in 2014, while imports will expand 5.3%, thus driving the trade balance to record a surplus of USD 289 billion. For 2015, the panel expects exports to increase 8.2% and imports to rise 8.0%, while the trade surplus will widen to USD 317 billion.


Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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China Trade Chart


China Trade12m November 2014

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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