Wednesday, October 14, 2015

MIXED TRADE DATA FOR CHINA


Mainland trade data offer mixed picture

Wednesday, October 14, 2015




China's exports fell by a less than expected level in September, with monthly figures showing recovery. But a sharper fall in imports left economists divided on whether the country's ailing trade sector is on the mend.On the surface, yesterday's trade data reinforced views that the world's second-largest economy is still slowly losing momentum, putting more pressure on Beijing to roll out further stimulus measures and keeping global markets on edge.
But the numbers did not suggest a greater risk of a hard landing either, as some investors have feared.
Exports fell 3.7 percent from the same period last year in US dollar terms, moderating from a 5.5 percent decline in August.
But imports by value tumbled for the 11th straight month, losing more than 20 percent year-on-year in September due to weak commodity prices and soft domestic demand, which will continue to complicate Beijing's efforts to stave off deflation. Imports fell 13.8 percent in the previous month.
Highlighting persistent weakness in demand at home and abroad, China's combined exports and imports fell by 8.1 percent in the first nine months of the year from the same period in 2014, well below the full-year official target of 6 percent growth. That will likely reinforce expectations that Beijing will cut interest rates again in the coming months and announce other measures to avert a sharper economic slowdown.
Import volumes are a leading indicator for exports in China, given a large share of materials and parts are re- exported as finished goods, keeping the outlook cloudy. "September's import figure does not bode well for industrial production and fixed asset investment," ANZ economists said.
China posted a trade surplus of US$60.34 billion (HK$470.65 billion) for September, said the General Administration of Customs yesterday, higher than a US$46.8 billion forecast and up from U$60.24 billion in August.
REUTERS