China: Trade surplus widens on declining imports
February 10, 2012
In January, exports shrunk for the first time since November 2009, declining 0.5% over the same month last year. The reading contrasted the 13.4% rise tallied in December but came in above market expectations of a steeper 1.4% drop. Meanwhile, imports declined a sharp 15.3% over the same month last year, which contrasted the 11.8% rise recorded in December and market expectations that had imports contracting a softer 3.6%. Nevertheless, the January figures were highly affected by the Lunar New Year holidays, as most of the factories closed down. As a result, the trade surplus widened further from USD 16.5 billion in December to USD 27.6 billion in January, which was well above the USD 10.4 billion expected by the market and, in fact, represented the largest trade surplus in six months.