China Export Soars in January, Surplus at 183.2 Bln Yuan02-08 13:34 Caijing
Chinese export soared in January, customs data showed, fueling optimism that the world's second-biggest economy is rebounding from the recent slowdown.
Exports surged 25 percent year-on-year in the month to 1.18 trillion yuan (187.37 billion U.S. dollars), beating expectations, while imports were 0.99 trillion yuan (158.22 billion U.S. dollars), up 28.8 percent from a year earlier,
January's surplus, therefore, expanded 7.7 percent to 183.21 billion yuan (29.15 billion U.S. dollars), according to the General Administration of Customs.
"These data suggest that external and domestic demand are both strong, which supports our view that the economy is on track for a cyclical recovery" in the first half of this year, Zhang Zhiwei ,chief China economist at Nomura in Hong Kong, said in a research note.
The unexpected strong data cannot be fully explained by the Chinese New Year effect alone, according to the economist.
Economic data in January tend to be distorted by the week-long traditional holiday during which many factories shut down for a week or more. There are 22 working days in January this year as the holiday takes place in February, but last year it fell squarely in January cutting down on the number of working days to 17 that month.
"Although the Chinese New Year effects may have boosted the trade performance in January somewhat, we believe that the data also confirm our view that China's economy continues to gain momentum", wrote Liu Ligang, chief China economist with ANZ, in his research note.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports and imports rose by 12.4 percent and 3.4 percent year-on-year, respectively.
The Export Managers Index rose for the second consecutive month to 37.5 in January, suggesting that the export outlook remains positive. In addition, the Customs survey indicated that sentiments among Chinese exporters are improving with rising new export orders. Most firms are relatively optimistic in Q1, with firms holding pessimistic views falling to 40%.
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