One Economist Expects A Huge Drop In Chinese Exports

CHina shipping

Photo: REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Chinese trade data for February is out at 9 p.m. ET.Analysts polled by Bloomberg are looking for imports to fall 8.5 per cent year-over-year, compared with a 28.8 per cent rise the previous month.

Exports are expected to rise 8.1 per cent, compared with a 25 per cent rise in January. And trade balance is expected to narrow to deficit of $6.9 billion.

But, Bank of America’s Ting Lu expects exports to fall 9.5 per cent because of the impact of the Chinese New Year holiday. He says exports have “bottomed out from lows in mid-2012” but “remains cautious” because of the weak economic recovery and political uncertainties in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, some of the countries biggest trading partners.

Ting expects imports to fall 11.5 per cent and for the trade balance to narrow and show a deficit of $25.6 billion. He suggests reading January and February data together. “In the regard, exports and imports could expand 10% and 7% yoy in Jan-Feb, with a total trade surplus of $3.6 billion.”

Trade data is widely considered one of the most reliable Chinese economic indicators. But analysts have warned against giving Jan-Feb data too much weight, since it will be distorted by the Chinese New Year holiday.

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