Thursday March 09 2017
China Inflation Rate Slows To 2-Year Low In February
Statistics China | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer prices rose 0.8 percent year-on-year in February 2017, compared to a 2.5 percent rise in January while markets expected an 1.7 percent gain. It was the lowest inflation rate since January 2015, as cost of transport and communication rose at a slower pace while food prices fell.

In February, the politically sensitive food prices declined by 4.3 percent (from 2.7 percent in the prior month) while non-food cost rose 2.2 percent (from 2.5 percent). Cost of consumer goods declined 0.1 percent (from 2.2 percent) and those of services went up 2.4 percent (from 3.2 percent).

Among food, prices fell for: pork (-0.9 percent from 7.1 percent in a month earlier), fresh vegetables (-26.0 percent from 1.6 percent), eggs (-14.9 percent from -9.1 percent), milk (-0.2 percent from -0.5 percent) and tobaco (-0.2 percent from -0.2 percent). In addition, prices rose at a slower pace for fresh fruits (2.1 percent from 4.8 percent).

For non-food categories, cost went up less than in the preceding month for: household goods and services (0.5 percent from 0.6 percent), transport & communication (1.7 percent from 2.3 percent); education, culture & recreation (1.8 percent from 3.3 percent) and other goods and services (3.1 percet from 4.8 percent). In contrast, cost rose at a faster pace for: clothing (1.2 percent from 1.1 percent); rent, fuel & utilities (2.5 percent from 2.3 percent) and healthcare (5.1 from 5.0 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices unexpectedly declined by 0.2 percent, following a 1.0 percent rise in a month earlier and missing market consensus of a 0.6 percent rise. It was the first drop since October 2016. 

The producer price index rose 7.8 percent year-on-year in February of 2017, faster than a 6.9 percent rise in January and slightly above markets consensus of a 7.7 percent gain. It was the sixth straight month of increase and the fastest since September 2008, as cost went up for most categories, including: means of production (10.4 percent from 9.1 percent in the prior month), namely extraction (36.1 percent), raw materials (15.5 percent) and processing (6.6 percent); consumer goods (0.8 percent from 0.8 percent), namely food production (1.1 percent), clothing (1.3 percent) and daily use goods (1.5 percent). In contrast, prices of consumer durable declined by 0.6 percent. 




Wednesday March 08 2017
China Posts First Monthly Trade Gap In 3 Years
Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China unexpectedly reported a USD 9.15 billion trade deficit in February of 2017, compared to a USD 28.2 billion surplus a year earlier and missing market expectations of a USD 25.75 billion surplus. It was the first monthly trade gap since February 2014, as imports surged while exports fell.

In February, exports declined by 1.3 percent year-on-year to USD 120.08 billion, following a 7.9 percent rise in January while markets expected a 12.3 percent growth.

Imports jumped 38.1 percent to USD 129.23 billion, after growing 16.7 percent in the prior month and way above consensus of a 20.3 percent rise. It was the fastest increase since early 2012, driven by strong demand for commodities from iron ore to crude oil and coal.

In yuan-denominated terms, exports went up 4.2 percent from a year earlier in February, compared to a 15.9 percent rise in a month earlier. Inbound shipments soared 44.7 percent, following a 25.2 percent rise in January.

In January 2017, China posted a trade surplus of USD 51.35 billlion.

Trade in January and February can be distorted by the week-long Lunar New Year holidays, with business slowing down weeks ahead of time and companies scaling back operations. This year, the holiday fell on January 28th.

Considering the first two months of 2017, total trade in USD went up 13.3 percent from a year earlier. Exports rose 4 percent, boosted by higher shipments of electronics (6.7 percent), high-tech products (9.1 percent), handheld radiotelephones and parts (15.4 percent) and automatica data processing equipment and components (6.5 percent). In contrast, sales fell for clothing and accessories (-10.5 percent) and textile yarn, fabric and products (-7 percent). Exports were higher to Hong Kong (1.5 percent), India (5.3 percent), Japan (2.4 percent), South Korea (16.3 percent), Taiwan (13.1 percent), ASEAN countries (7.5 percent), the EU countries (1.9 percent), South Africa (10.7 percent), Brazil (31.3 percent), Russia (15.5 percent), the US (4.4 percent), Australia (1.7 percent) and New Zealand (2.3 percent). 

Imports jumped 26.4 percent, mainly due to higher purchases of electronics (15.1 percent), high-tech products (16.5 percent), integrated circuits (17.9 percent), crude (70.1 percent), agricultural products (24.3 percent) and iron ore and concentrates (94.6 percent). The European Union was the main import partner (imports rose 19.4 percent), followed by the ASEAN countries (imports up 29.5 percent), South Korea (15.7 percent), the US (32.8 percent), Japan (24.7 percent), Taiwan (21.5 percent) and Australia (77.6 percent). 





Tuesday February 14 2017
China Inflation Rate At 32-Month High Of 2.5% In January
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in China rose 2.5 percent year-on-year in January of 2017, compared to a 2.1 percent rise in December while markets expected a 2.4 percent gain. It was the highest inflation rate since May 2014, driven by a faster increase in cost of food and non-food. Meanwhile, producer prices index rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier, the most since August 2011.

In January, the politically sensitive food prices increased by 2.7 percent (from 2.4 percent in the prior month) while non-food cost rose 2.5 percent (from 2.0 percent). Cost of consumer goods gained 2.2 percent (from 1.8 percent) and those of services went up 3.2 percent (from 2.5 percent).

Among food, prices rose at a faster pace for: pork (7.1 percent from 6.2 percent in a month earlier) and fresh fruits (4.8 percent from 3.2 percent). Cost went up less than in the prior month for: fresh vegetables 1.6 percent from +2.6 percent). In contrast, prices fell for: eggs (-9.1 percent from -4.5 percent), milk (-0.5 percent from -0.2 percent) and tobaco (-0.2 percent from -0.2 percent).

For non-food categories, upward prices pressure came from all components, including: clothing (+1.1 percent from +1.1 percent); rent, fuel & utilities (2.3 percent from 2.1 percent),  household goods and services (0.6 percent from 0.4 percent), transport & communication (2.3 percent from 0.9 percent); education, culture & recreation (3.3 percent from 2.3 percent), healthcare (5.0 from 4.6 percent) and other goods and services (4.8 percent from 4.0 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 1.0 percent, following a 0.2 percent rise in a month earlier and above market consensus of a 0.7 percent gain. It was the third straight month of increase and the highest since February 2016.

The producer prices index rose 6.9 percent year-on-year in January of 2017, following a 5.5 percent rise in December and beating market consensus of a 6.3 percent gain. It was the fifth straight month of increase and the fastest since August 2011, as cost went up for most categories, including: means of production (9.1 percent from 7.2 percent in December), namely extraction (31.0 percent), raw material (12.9 percent) and processing (5.9 percent); consumer goods (0.8 percent from 0.8 percent), namely food productions (1.3 percent), clothing (1.1 percent) and daily use goods (1.5 percent). In contrast, prices of consumer durable declined by 0.6 percent (from -0.8 percent in December). 


Friday February 10 2017
China Trade Surplus Largest In A year
General Administration of Customs | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China reported a USD 51.35 billion trade surplus in January of 2017, lower than a USD 56.67 billion surplus a year earlier but above market consensus of a USD 47.90 billion surplus. It was the largest trade surplus since January 2016, mainly driven by a 7.9 percent rise in exports while imports surged 16.7 percent.

In January, exports rose 7.9 percent year-on-year to USD 182.81 billion, due to stronger global demand, following a 6.2 percent drop in the prior month and beating expectations of a 3.3 percent rise. Sales to the U.S. went up 9 percent, which could add concerns by the Trump administration about bilateral trade.

Imports increased by 16.7 percent to USD 131.43 billion, compared to a 3.1 percent growth in a month earlier while. Figure came in higher than market estimates of a 10.0 percent increase, mainly due to rising demand for coal, crude oil and iron core.

In yuan-denominated terms, exports jumped 15.9 percent from a year earlier, compared to a 0.6 percent rise in a month earlier. Inbound shipments surged 25.2 percent, following a 10.0 percent rise in December.

In December 2016, the country reported a marginally revised USD 40.71 billion surplus.

Trade in January and February can be distorted by the week-long Lunar New Year holidays, with business slowing down weeks ahead of time and companies scaling back operations. This year, the holiday fell on January 28th.




Friday January 20 2017
China Quarterly GDP Growth Weakest in 3 Quarters
National Bureau of Statistics l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy advanced by 1.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to a 1.8 percent growth in the previous three months and in line with market estimates. It was the weakest expansion since the March quarter 2016.

Year-on-year, the economy advanced an annual 6.8 percent compared to a 6.7 percent growth in the previous three quarters while markets expected a 6.7 percent expansion. It was the strongest growth since the fourth quarter 2015.

Considering full year of 2016, the economy expanded 6.7 percent in 2016, lower than a 6.9 percent growth in 2015. It was the weakest full-year expansion since 1990 but within the government's target range of 6.5 to 7 percent. 




Friday January 20 2017
China 2016 GDP Growth Weakest in 26 Years
National Bureau of Statistics | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy expanded 6.7 percent in 2016, lower than a 6.9 percent growth in 2015. It was the weakest full-year expansion since 1990 but within the government's target range of 6.5 to 7 percent, as investment and consumption growth has softened.

In 2016, services sector/tertiary industry rose 7.8 percent; easing from 8.3 percent in 2015 and accounting for 51.6 percent of GDP, up 1.4 percentage points. Manufacturing and construction/secondary industry grew by 6.1 percent, compared to a 6 percent a year earlier.

Final consumption expenditure accounted for 64.6 percent of GDP, lower than 66.4 percent in the preceding year. Meanwhile, capital formation contributed 42.2 percent while net exports were a 6.8 percent drag on growth.

Investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) grew by 8.1 percent, the least since 1999, following a 10 percent last year. Investment by the state holding enterprises increased by 18.7 percent (vs 10.9 percent in 2015) while those of private investment went up by 3.2 percent (vs 10.1 percent in 2015).

Total retail sales of consumer goods rose 10.4 percent, slower than 10.7 percent in 2015. Sales in urban areas grew by 10.4 percent and those in rural by 10.9 percent. Online retail sales rose 26.2 percent versus 33.3 percent the prior year. Retail sales of physical goods increased of 25.6 percent from 31.6 percent in 2015, accounting for 12.6 percent of the total sales of consumer goods.

Total value of imports and exports in yuan terms decreased by 0.9 percent comapred to 7.0 percent decline in a year earlier, with exports dropping 2.0 percent while imports going up by 0.6 percent. 

In the December quarter, the economy expanded 6.8 percent, compared to a 6.7 percent growth in the previous three quarters while markets expected a 6.7 percent expansion. It was the strongest growth since the fourth quarter 2015, supported by strong consumer spending, higher government  expenditure and robust bank lending. 

On a quarterly basis, the GDP advanced 1.7 percent, compared to a 1.8 percent growth in the previous three months. It was the weakest expansion since the March quarter 2016.

For 2017, China is facing more headwinds from external environment, including from a new US president, who has been threatening tough trade measures against Beijing. However, the International Monetary Fund recently upgraded its growth forecast for the country’s economy for the year to 6.5 percent, 0.3 percentage points higher than their October forecast, on the back of expectations for continued government stimulus.




Friday January 13 2017
China Trade Surplus Narrows to 8-Month Low in December
General Administration of Customs l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China reported a USD 40.82 billion trade surplus in December of 2016, compared to a USD 59.63 billion surplus a year earlier and below market consensus of a USD 46.5 billion surplus. It was the smallest surplus since April, as exports fell while imports rose.

In December, sales declined by 6.1 percent from a year earlier to USD 209.42 billion, following a 1.6 percent drop in the preceding month while markets expected a 3.5 percent fall. 

Imports went up 3.1 percent to USD 168.60 billion, compared to a 4.7 percent increase in November and above consensus of a 2.7 percent growth.

In yuan-denominated terms, exports rose 0.6 percent from a year ago, following a 5.9 percent rise in a month earlier. Inbound shipments jumped 10.0 percent, following a 13.0 percent rise in November.

In November 2016, trade surplus came in at USD 44.61 billion.

Considering the full year of 2016, exports dropped by 7.7 percent, the second straight year of fall and the worst since the depths of the global crisis in 2009. Sales were down to Hong Kong (-12.7 percent), Japan (-4.7 percent), South Korea (-7.7 percent), Taiwan (-10.1 percent), ASEAN countries (-7.8 percent), the EU countries (-4.7 percent), South Africa (-19.0 percent), Brazil (-19.9 percent), the US (-5.9 percent), Australia (-7.8 percent) and New Zealand (-3.3 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments rose to India (+0.2 percent) and Russia (+7.3 percent). 

Imports declined by 5.5 percent, mainly due to lower commodity prices. In volume terms, inbound shipments declined for: fresh, dried fruits & nuts (-7.6 percent), grain & cereal flour (-32.8 percent), edible oil (-18.3 percent), refined oil (-6.5 percent), primary shape plastics (-24.1 percent) and mineral fertiliser (-25.4 percent). In contrast, purchases were higher for soybeans (+2.7 percent), iron ore & concentrates (+7.5 percent), copper ore & concentrates (+28.2 percent), coal & ignite (+25.2 percent), crude (+13.6 percent), natural gas (+22.0 percent), pharmaceuticals (+16.9 percent) and natural rubber (+23.1 percent).

For the whole year of 2016, the trade surplus was recorded at USD 509.96 billion, lower than a surplus of USD 594.5 billion in 2015.

For 2017, trade faces more challenges from rising protectionism and uncertainties in U.S. trade policy.



Tuesday January 10 2017
China Inflation Rate Eases to 2.1% in December
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in China rose 2.1 percent year-on-year in December of 2016, compared to a 2.3 percent rise in November while markets expected a 2.3 percent gain. The politically sensitive food prices increased by 2.4 percent while non-food cost rose at a slower 2.0 percent. Cost of consumer goods gained 1.8 percent and those of services advanced 2.5 percent.

Among food, prices rose at a slower pace for fresh vegetables +2.6 percent from +15.8 percent in November). Cost went up more than in a month earlier for pork (+6.2 percent from +5.6 percent) and fresh fruits (+3.2 percent from +2.8 percent). In contrast, cost fell for: eggs (-4.5 percent from -2.2 percent), milk (-0.2 percent from -0.2 percent) and tobaco (-0.2 percent from -0.1 percent).

For non-food categories, cost increased at a slower pace for: clothing (+1.1 percent from +1.4 percent) and other goods and services (+4.0 percent from +4.2 percent). Prices rose at a faster pace for: rent, fuel & utilities (+2.1 percent from +2.0 percent), household goods and services (+0.4 percent from +0.3 percent), transport & communication (+0.9 percent from a flat reading); education, culture & recreation (+2.3 percent from +2.2 percent) and healthcare (+4.6 percent from +4.4 percent).

For the whole year of 2016, inflation was 2 percent, below government target at around 3 percent. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.2 percent, following a 0.1 percent rise in a month earlier. It was the second straight month of increase but below market consensus of a 0.3 percent gain.

The producer prices index rose 5.5 percent year-on-year in December, following a 3.3 percent rise in the preceding month and beating market consensus of a 4.5 percent gain. It was the fourth straight month of increase and the fastest since September 2011.


Friday December 09 2016
China Inflation Rate Rises to 7-Month High in November
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in China rose 2.3 percent year-on-year in November of 2016, compared to a 2.1 percent rise in October while market expected a 2.2 percent gain. It was the highest inflation rate since April, as the politically sensitive food prices increased by 4.0 percent while non-food cost rose at a slower 1.8 percent. Cost of consumer goods gained 2.1 percent and those of services advanced 2.4 percent.

Among food, prices rose for at a faster pace for: fresh vegetables (+15.8 percent from +13.0 percent in September) and pork (+5.6 percent from +4.8 percent). Prices also went up for fresh fruits (+2.8 percent from +6.0 percent). In contrast, cost fell for: eggs (-2.2 percent from -2.4 percent), milk (-0.2 percent from -0.2 percent) and tobaco (-0.1 percent from -0.1 percent).

For non-food categories, cost went up for most categories: clothing (+1.4 percent from +1.3 percent); rent, fuel & utilities (+2.0 percent from +1.8 percent), household equipment supplies and services (+0.3 percent from +0.4 percent), education, culture and entertainment (+2.2 percent from +2.1 percent), healthcare (+4.4 percent from +4.8 percent) and other goods and services (+4.2 percent from +3.6 percent). Cost of transport remained unchanged, compared to a 0.4 percet fall in the prior month.

For 2016, the government sets inflation target at around 3 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.1 percent, after declining 0.1 percent in a month earlier and in line with consensus.

The producer prices index rose 3.3 percent year-on-year in November, following a 1.2 percent increase in the preceding month and beating market consensus of a 2.2 percent gain. It was the third straight month of increase and the fastest since October 2011.




Thursday December 08 2016
China Trade Surplus Narrows in November
General Administration of Customs l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China reported a USD 44.61 billion trade surplus in November of 2016, compared to a USD 53.97 billion surplus a year earlier. Figure came below market consensus of a USD 46.3 billion surplus, as exports rose much less than imports.

In November, sales unexpectedly edged up 0.1 percent from a year earlier to USD 178.18 billion, following a 7.3 percent drop in the preceding month and beating market estimates of a 5.0 percent fall. It was the first gain since March.

Imports went up 6.7 percent to USD 129.12 billion, compared to a 1.4 percent fall in October while market expected a 1.3 percent decline. It was the fastest growth since September 2014.

In yuan-denominated terms, exports rose 5.9 percent from a year ago, following a 3.2 percent drop in a month earlier and marking the first increase in three months. Inbound shipments jumped 13.0 percent, following a 3.2 percent rise in October.

In October 2016, trade surplus came in at USD 49.06 billion.

Considering the first eleven months of 2016, total trade in USD decreased by 6.9 percent  from a year earlier. Exports dropped by 7.5 percent. Sales were down to Hong Kong (-9.3 percent), Japan (-4.6 percent), South Korea (-9.1 percent), Taiwan (-11.1 percent), ASEAN countries (-8.0 percent), the EU countries (-4.4 percent), South Africa (-19.7 percent), Brazil (-22.1 percent), the US (-6.6 percent), Australia (-7.7 percent) and New Zealand (-2.8 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments rose to India (+0.5 percent) and Russia (+7.2 percent). Imports declined by 6.2 percent, mainly due to lower commodity prices.