Forecasts Show Slowing Export Growth, Narrowing Deficits in March04-06 15:15 Caijing
China's foreign trade sector is likely to see a narrowing deficit in March, as imports growth may slow and that of exports down, according to a survey polled economists from 50 institutions.
The projected average growth of exports in March was 7.7 percent, measured year on year, down 10.7 percentage points from 18.4 percent registered in the previous month, while imports growth forecasts were averaged at 10 percent, a significant cut from Feb.'s 39.6 percent, the survey showed.
The boldest forecast made on trade surplus for March was 19.6 billion U.S. dollars, and the most negative forecast put it as a deficit of 16 billion U.S. dollars, compared with a huge trade deficit of 31.48 billion U.S. dollars in Feb.
Economists cited exporters' recovery of production in March from Feb.'s weakness, which was distorted by the traditional Chinese New Year holiday which fell on late Jan. and early Feb., as a positive factor to sustain exports; however, the base effect and a still weak global economy may dial back growth from that in Feb., according to the survey.
The export data in March is expected to be improved from Feb. but remained weaker than that in the same period last year, Industrial Bank's chief economist Lu Zhengwei said, responding to our reporter's email.
With moderate recovery in the United States and at a critical juncture of euro's debt problem, during which, the bilateral effects from finance and bank's credit tightening made depression a event with higher probability, China overall has been facing bleak foreign demands, according to Chu Jianfang, chief economist with CITIC Securities, one of the economist polled.
There were also economists, such as Li Yeping, who heads Sinolink Securities' macro economy team, pointed to good news in the export sector. Mr. Li said in an email that March's exports to the United States may well exceed expectations, bringing the overall growth to 13.6 percent, and the trend may continue into the next quarters.
Institutions polled in the survey also included Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities, UBS Securities, China International Capital Corporation, Shenyin Wanguo Securities, and other securities, as well as banks including Bank of Communications, Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, etc.
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