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.


Wednesday November 09 2016
China Inflation Rate at 6-Month High of 2.1% in October
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in China rose 2.1 percent year-on-year in October of 2016, compared to a 1.9 percent rise in September and in line with market expectations. It was the highest inflation rate since April, as the politically sensitive food prices increased by 3.7 percent while non-food cost rose at a slower 1.7 percent. Cost of consumer goods gained 1.9 percent and those of services advanced 2.5 percent.

Among food, prices rose for: fresh vegetables (+13.0 percent from +7.5 percent in September) and fresh fruits (+6.0 percent from +6.7 percent). Prices of pork also went up by 4.8 percent, slowing from a 5.8 percent rise in a month earlier. In contrast, cost fell for: eggs (-2.4 percent from -4.6 percent), milk (-0.2 percent from -0.4 percent) and tobaco (-0.1 percent from -0.1 percent).

For non-food categories, cost went up for: clothing (+1.3 percent from +1.2 percent); rent, fuel & utilities (+1.8 percent from +1.5 percent), household equipment supplies and services (+0.4 percent from +0.3 percent), education, culture and entertainment (+2.1 percent from +2.0 percent), healthcare (+4.8 percent from +4.3 percent) and other goods and services (+3.6 percent from +4.4 percent). In contrast, downward prices pressure came from transport and communications (-0.4 percent from -0.4 percent).

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

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.1 percent, after gaining 0.7 percent in a month earlier while market estimated a flat reading. It was the first decline since June.

The producer prices index rose 1.2 percent year-on-year in October, following a 0.1 percent increase in the preceding month and beating market consensus of a 0.8 percent gain. It was the second straight month of increase and the fastest since December 2011.


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

China reported a USD 49.06 billion trade surplus in October of 2016, compared to a USD 61.26 billion surplus a year earlier. The figure came below market consensus of a USD 51.7 billion surplus, as exports fell much more than imports.

In October, sales declined by 7.3 percent from a year earlier to USD 178.18 billion, following a 10.0 percent drop in the preceding month while markets estimated a 6.0 percent fall. It is the lowest value in six months.

Imports decreased by 1.4 percent to 129.12 billion, compared to a 1.9 percent fall in September and expectations of a 1.0 percent decline. It is the lowest value in eight months.

In yuan-denominated terms, exports fell 3.2 percent from a year ago, the second straight month of contraction. Inbound shipments went up 3.2 percent, following a 2.2 percent rise in the prior  month.

In September 2016, trade surplus came in at USD 41.99 billion.

Considering the first ten months of 2016, total trade in USD decreased by 7.6 percent from a year-earlier. Exports dropped by 7.7 percent.  Sales were down to Hong Kong (-7.9 percent), Japan (-5.3 percent), South Korea (-9.0 percent), Taiwan (-12.6 percent), ASEAN countries (-7.5 percent), the EU countries (-4.9 percent), South Africa (-21.4 percent), Brazil (-26.0 percent), the US (-7.7 percent), Australia (-7.3 percent) and New Zealand (-2.8 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments rose to India (+0.9 percent) and Russia (+5.9 percent). Imports dropped by 7.6 percent, mainly due to lower commodity prices. In volume terms, inbound shipments declined for: fresh, dried fruits & nuts (-8.4 percent), grain & cereal flour (-31.6 percent), edible oil (-21.4 percent), refined oil (-7.6 percent), mineral fertiliser (-26.6 percent) and plastics in primary forms (-4.7 percent). In contrast, purchases were higher for soybeans (+1.9 percent), iron ore & concentrates (+8.9 percent), copper ore & concentrates (+31.6 percent), coal & ignite (+18.5 percent), crude (+13.6 percent), natural gas (+21.1 percent), pharmaceuticals (+15.7 percent) and natural rubber (+24.3 percent).


Wednesday October 19 2016
China Quarterly GDP Growth Eases Slightly to 1.8% in Q3
National Bureau of Statistics l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy advanced by 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of 2016, compared to an upwardly revised 1.9 percent growth in the previous three months and in line with market estimates.

Many uncertain factors in the economy remain, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on its website. It also acknowledged that the foundation for sustained growth is not solid.

Year-on-year, the economy advanced an annual 6.7 percent in the September quarter 2016, the same pace as in the previous two quarters and matching consensus.

For 2016, the Chinese government is targeting the economy to grow between 6.5 to 7.0 percent. A year earlier, the economy expanded by 6.9 percent, the weakest since 1990.




Wednesday October 19 2016
China GDP Growth Matches Estimates in Q3
National Bureau of Statistics l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy expanded an annual 6.7 percent in the September quarter of 2016, the same pace as in the previous two quarters.The figure was in line with market expectations, supported by an increase in government spending, fixed asset investment and retail sales while industrial output eased.

From January to September 2016, government spending rose 12.5 percent compared to the same period a year earlier while revenues increased by 5.9 percent.

Fixed-asset investment grew by 8.2 percent year-on-year, compared to a 8.1 percent rise in the first eight months of 2016 and in line with estimates. While investment by state firms jumped by 21.1 percent year-on-year; those by private firms rose 2.5 percent, accelerating from a record low of 2.1 percent in January to August.

In September, retail sales  rose 10.7 percent year-on-year, compared to a 10.6 percent increase in August. It was the fastest growth since December 2015 and slightly above consensus of a 10.6 percent rise. Sales grew for all categories: building materials (+14.2 percent), automobiles (+13.1 percent), personal care (+12.5 percent), office supplies (+10.4 percent), furniture (+8.7 percent), home appliances (+8.6 percent), cosmetics (+7.7 percent), garments (+6.7 percent), telecoms (+5.1 percent), jewelry (+5.0 percent) and oil. oil products (+2.9 percent).

Industrial production went up 6.1 percent from a year earlier, slowing from a 6.3 percent growth in August and missing market expectations of a 6.4 percent rise. Output rose the most in electricity, gas and water production (+7.3 percent), followed by manufacturing (+6.5 percent) and mining (+0.1 percent). 

Figures released earlier showed exports tumbled 10.0 percent year-on-year to USD184.51 billion in September 2016, compared to a 2.8 percent drop in the prior month while market estimated a 3.0 percent drop. In the last twelve months exports rose only in March (+10.7 percent). Imports unexpectedly dropped by 1.9 percent to USD142.52 billion, following a 1.5 percent rise in August and missing expectations of a 1.0 percent growth. 

Considering the first nine months of 2016, the services sector expanded 7.6 percent while the industry sector grew at a slower  6.1 percent.

From January to September 2016, final consumption accounted for 71.0 percent of Chinese economy. Meanwhile, investment contributed 36.8 percent of growth and net exports were a 7.8 percent drag on growth.

For 2016, the Chinese government is targeting the economy to grow between 6.5 to 7.0 percent. A year earlier, the economy expanded by 6.9 percent, the weakest since 1990.

On a quarterly basis, the GDP advanced 1.8 percent, compared to an upwardly revised 1.9 percent expansion in the June quarter and matching market consensus.




Friday October 14 2016
China Inflation Rate at 3-Month High of 1.9% in September
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in China rose 1.9 percent year-on-year in September of 2016, compared to a 1.3 percent rise in August while market expected a 1.6 percent increase. It was the highest inflation rate since June as the politically sensitive food prices increased by 3.2 percent while non-food cost rose at a slower 1.6 percent. Cost of consumer goods gained 1.7 percent and those of services advanced 2.4 percent.

Among food, prices rose for: fresh vegetables (+7.5 percent from -3.9 percent in August) and fresh fruits (+6.7 percent from -0.6 percent). Prices of pork also went up by 5.8 percent, slowing from a 6.4 percent rise in a month earlier. In contrast, cost fell for: eggs (-4.6 percent from -7.4 percent), milk (-0.4 percent from -0.6 percent) and tobaco (-0.1 percent from -0.1 percent)

For non-food categories, cost rose for: clothing (+1.2 percent from +1.3 percent); rent, fuel & utilities (+1.5 percent from +1.5 percent), household equipment supplies and services (+0.3 percent from +0.4 percent), education, culture and entertainment (+2.0 percent from +1.3 percent), healthcare (+4.3 percent from +4.3 percent) and other goods and services (4.4 percent from +4.5 percent). In contrast, downward prices pressure came from transport and communications (-0.4 percent from -1.2 percent).

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

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.7 percent, after gaining 0.1 percent in a month earlier and above market consensus of a 0.3 percent growth. It was the highest figure since February.

The producer prices index unexpectedly rose 0.1 percent year-on-year in September, following a 0.8 percent drop in the preceding month while market expected a 0.3 percent decline. It was the first increase since January 2012.


Thursday October 13 2016
China Trade Surplus Smallest in 6 Months
General Administration of Customs l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China reported a USD 41.99 billion trade surplus in September of 2016, compared to a USD 59.60 billion surplus a year earlier and missing market estimates of a USD 53.0 billion surplus. It was the smallest trade surplus since March as exports fell much more than imports.

In September, exports declined by 10.0 percent from a year earlier to USD 184.51 billion, following a 2.8 percent drop in the preceding month and more than market estimates of a 3.0 percent fall.

Imports unexpectedly decreased by 1.9 percent to USD 142.52 billion, compared to a 1.5 percent rise in August while market consensus of a 1.0 percent growth. 

In yuan-denominated terms, sales fell 5.6 percent from a year ago, following a 5.9 percent increase in August. Inbound shipments went up 2.2 percent, compared to a 10.8 percent growth in the preceding month.

In August 2016, the country registered a USD 52.05 billion trade surplus.

Considering the first nine months of 2016, total trade in USD decreased by 7.8 percent from a year-earlier. Exports dropped by 7.5 percent.  Sales were down to Hong Kong (-7.7 percent), Japan (-5.5 percent), South Korea (-7.3 percent), Taiwan (-13.0 percent), ASEAN countries (-7.8 percent), the EU countries (-4.3 percent), South Africa (-22.7 percent), Brazil (-28.3 percent), the US (-7.8 percent), Australia (-6.9 percent), New Zealand (-3.3 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments rose to India (+1.3 percent) and Russia (+7.1 percent). Imports dropped by 8.2 percent, mainly due to lower commodity prices. In volume terms, inbound shipments declined for: fresh, dried fruits & nuts (-9.4 percent), cereal & cereal flour (-30.6 percent), edible oil (-19.9 percent), refined oil (-7.1 percent), mineral fertiliser (-25.1 percent) and plastics in primary forms (-4.6 percent). In contrast, purchases were higher for soy (+2.6 percent), iron ore & concentrates (+9.1 percent), copper ore & concentrates (+31.9 percent), coal & ignite (+15.2 percent), crude (+14.0 percent), natural gas (+22.7 percent), pharmaceuticals (+16.6 percent) and natural rubber (+26.2 percent).