Lunar New Year Skews China Trade Data
The Lunar New Year played havoc with China’s trade data in February (just as it distorted January’s, data from the country’s Customs Administration yesterday confirmed.
February’s data showed a share rise in China’s exports to the fastest pace in three years in February.
China’s February exports jumped 44.5% from a year earlier, compared with forecasts for a 13.6% increase, and January’s 11.1% rise.
Imports were up a more sedate 6.3%, less than market forecasts of 9.7% and the 37% surge in January as companies lifted commodity shipments ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in mid February. 2017’s Lunar New Year started in late January and spilled over into the first couple of days on February.
Chinese Customs officials though released combined January-February trade data which confirmed the sharp rise in exports.
Those figures showed exports jumped 24.4% on-year in January-February, much better than 10.8% in December and 4% growth in first two months of 2017.
Imports in the first two months of the year rose 21.7%, compared with 4.5% in December.
China’s trade surplus widened to $US33.74 billion for February and January’s $US20.35 billion.
For January and February combined, the surplus rose 43.6% from the year earlier period to $US54.32 billion.
The bottom line is China’s economy is still powering along.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.