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China’s trade data beat forecasts, inflation eases in January

China’s trade data beat forecasts, inflation eases in January

08.02.2013 13:04

China’s exports and imports rose more than expected in January, supporting expectations that the country’s recovery is gaining momentum, along with both external and domestic demand rebounding. Exports grew 25.0%y/y in January, whereas imports were up 28.8%y/y, both topping consensus estimates. Although the January trade figures are likely to be somewhat distorted by Chinese New Year holiday, the data adjusted for seasonal effects also show signs of strength. According to official figures, exports were up 12.4%y/y on an adjusted basis, while imports rose 3.4%y/y. The week-long Chinese New Year holiday, usually accompanied by higher trade activity, is in February this year, while in 2012 it fell in January, which distorts simple year-on-year comparison. The data released today also showed China’s consumer inflation eased in January, in line with consensus, to 2.0% from 2.5% in December, when inflation was distorted by significant rise in food prices caused by severe weather. Inflation at the current level is no concern for the central bank, which hasn't raised rates since July 2011, when inflation was at 6.5% and economic growth exceeded 9.0%. In our baseline scenario we continue to expect key policy rate in China will be kept unchanged at 6.00% throughout 2013. That said, we underline there is a risk that as the recovery in China’s economic activity continues, inflation is likely to gradually trend higher, which might push the central bank to tightening monetary policy in the second half of the year.

China, Exports (Jan): 25.0%y/y
Previous (Dec): 14.1%y/y
Consensus: 17.5%y/y

China, Imports (Jan): 28.8%y/y
Previous (Dec): 6.0%y/y
Consensus: 23.5%y/y

China, CPI (Jan): 2.0%y/y
Previous (Dec): 2.5%y/y
Consensus: 2.0%y/y

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