Tuesday October 16 2018
China Inflation Rate Rises to 7-Month High in September
National Bureau of Statistics of China l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer price inflation rose to a seven-month high of 2.5 percent year-on-year in September of 2018 from 2.3 percent in the previous month and matching market consensus. Prices of food surged while cost of non-food continued to increase.

Still, inflation remained below the Chinese government’s target of around 3 percent for 2018. 

The politically sensitive food inflation picked up to a seven-month high of 3.6 percent in September from 1.7 percent in the prior month, as prices rose at a faster pace for both fresh fruits (10.2 percent vs 5.5 percent in August) and fresh vegetables (14.6 percent vs 4.3 percent). In addition, cost of eggs continued to inncrease firmly (7.1 percent vs 10.2 percent); while prices of pork declined less (-0.4 percent vs -4.9 percent). Edible oil costs continued to drop (-0.6 percent vs -0.6 percent).

Meantime, cost of non-food increased by 2.2 percent, after a 2.5 percent rise in August. Cost went up less for: clothing (1.2 percent vs 1.3 percent); healthcare (2.7 percent vs 4.3 percent); education, culture & recreation (2.2 percent vs 2.6 percent); and other goods & services (0.7 percent vs 1.2 percent), while inflation was unchanged for household goods & services (at 1.6 percent). At the same time, cost rose at a faster rate for: rent, fuel & utilities (2.6 percent vs 2.5 percent); and transport & communication (2.8 percent vs 2.7 percent).  

Annual core inflation, which excludes volatile items such as food and energy, slowed  to 1.7 percent in September from 2 percent in the previous month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.7 percent in September, the same as in August and in line with market expectations. It remained the highest monthly figure since February.

Meanwhile, the producer price index in China increased by 3.6 percent from a year earlier in September 2018, after a 4.1 percent rise in the previous month and compared to market expectations of 3.5 percent. It was the lowest reading since April, as prices of means of production went up at a softer 4.6 percent (vs 5.2 percent in August), namely extraction (11.7 percent vs 12.1 percent), raw materials (7.3 percent vs 7.8 percent) and processing (2.9 percent vs 3.5 percent). Meanwhile, consumer goods inflation edged up to 0.8 percent from 0.7 percent); of which consumer goods (0.8 percent vs 0.7 percent); food production (0.9 percent vs 0.7 percent); clothing (1.1 percent vs 1.1 percent), daily use goods (1.1 percent vs 1.2 percent) and consumer durable goods (0.2 percent vs 0.2 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices went up 0.6 percent.




Friday October 12 2018
China Trade Surplus Largest in 3 Months
Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus widened to USD 31.69 bilion in September of 2018 from USD 27.38 billion in the same month a year earlier and easily beating market consensus of USD 19.4 bilion. It was the largest trade surplus since June, as exports increased at a faster 14.5 percent year-on-year to USD 226.5 billion, while imports grew by 14.3 percent to USD 189.49 billion.

Exports rose at  a stronger 14.5 percent  year-on-year to USD 226.6 billion in September, after a 9.8 percent rise in the previous month. It was the fastest growth in outbound shipments since February, despite intense trade tensions with the US. The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on USD 250 billion of Chinese goods so far this year and Beijing has retaliated with punitive taxes on USD 110 billion of US products. President Trump has also pledged to put more tariffs on an additional USD 257 billion of Chinese products. Still, China's export data has been resilient to tariffs, possibly as companies increased shipments before tariffs go into effect. Unwrought aluminium and aluminium product exports surged 37 percent year-on-year to 507,000 tonnes, but were down 0.6 percent month-on-month from a downwardly revised 510,000 tonnes in August, which remained the second-highest on record. China is the world's top producer of steel and aluminium. The US has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on Chinese steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium imports since March 23rd. However, a lower yuan has helped Chinese metal exports. China's steel product exports went up 15.8 percent year-on-year to 5.95 million tonnes in September and was up 1.4 percent from a revised figure of 5.87 million tonnes in August. Chinese aluminium exports are expected to surge further in coming months after Beijing boosted tax rebates for exports of semi-fabricated aluminium, or semis, to 16 percent from 13 percent with effect from 1st November.

Imports expanded 14.3 percent to USD 189.49 billion, compared to a 20 percent advance in a month earlier and slightly below estimates of 15 percent. China's unwrought copper imports jumped 21.2 percent from a year earlier to 521,000 tonnes and soared 24 percent from August's 420,000 tonnes, reaching the highest since March of 2016. Also, imports of copper concentrate rose 21.2 percent to an all-time high of 1.93 million tonnes, and grew 16.3 percent from a month earlier of 1.66 million tonnes. On the other hand, purchases of iron ore fell 9.5 percent year-on-year to 93.08 million tonnes, but were up 4.2 percent from August's 89.34 million tonnes as steel mills increased output ahead of winter production restrictions. Natural gas imports came in at 7.62 million tonnes in September, down from 7.76 million tonnes in August. Meanwhile, imports of soybeans were little changed  year-on-year at 8.01 million tonnes (vs 8.11 million tonnes in September 2017). Chinese buyers have been scooping up Brazilian beans after Beijing in July imposed a 25 percent tariff on US products worth USD 34 billion, including soybeans. 

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, widened to a fresh record high of USD 34.13 billion in September from USD 31.05 billion in August. Exports to the country rose 13 percent, while imports increased 9 percent.

Over the first nine months of the year, the trade surplus decreased to USD 225.7 billion from USD 303.43 billion in the same period 2017. The nine-month period trade surplus with the US was reported at USD 225.79 billion, up 15 percent from the same period of the previous year.

In yuan-denominated terms, China's trade surplus came in at CNY 213.23 billion in September, as imports grew at a faster 17.4 percent, while exports went up 17 percent. For January-September, the trade surplus narrowed 28.3 percent to CNY 1.44 trillion, as imports jumped 14.1 percent while exports were up 6.5 percent.




Monday September 10 2018
China Inflation Rate Rises to 6-Month High in August
National Bureau of Statistics of China | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer price inflation rose to a six-month high of 2.3 percent year-on-year in August of 2018 from 2.1 percent in the previous month and slightly above market consensus of 2.2 percent. The increase was driven by higher prices of food; clothing; rent, fuel & utilities; and education, culture & recreation.

Still, inflation remained well below the Chinese government’s target of around 3 percent for 2018. 

The politically sensitive food inflation picked up to a five-month high of 1.7 percent in August from 0.5 percent in the prior month, as prices rose at a faster pace for both fresh fruits (5.5 percent vs 0.4 percent in July) and fresh vegetables (4.3 percent vs 3.8 percent). In addition, cost of eggs continued to increase firmly (10.2 percent vs 11.7 percent), as well as poultry prices (5.5 percent vs 6.6 percent); while pork price deflation eased further (-4.9 percent vs -9.6 percent) despite concerns on a series of African swine fever outbreaks. Edible oil costs also dropped (-0.6 percent vs -0.7 percent).

Additional upward pressure came from: clothing (1.3 percent vs 1.2 percent); rent, fuel & utilities (2.5 percent vs 2.4 percent); and education, culture & recreation (2.6 percent vs 2.3 percent). Meanwhile, inflation was unchanged for both household goods & services (at 1.6 percent) and other goods & services (at 1.2 percent), but eased for transport & communication (2.7 percent vs 3 percent) and healthcare (4.3 percent vs 4.6 percent). 

Annual core inflation, which excludes volatile items such as food and energy, picked up  to 2 percent in August from 1.9 percent in the previous month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.7 percent in August, following a 0.3 percent rise in July and beating market expectations of 0.5 percent. It was the highest monthly rate since February.

Meanwhile, the producer price index increased by 4.1 percent from a year earlier in August, after a 4.6 percent rise in the previous month and compared to market expectations of 4 percent. Prices of means of production went up 5.2 percent (vs 6 percent in July), namely extraction (12.1 percent vs 13.4 percent), raw materials (7.8 percent vs 9 percent) and processing (3.5 percent vs 4.1 percent). Meanwhile, consumer goods inflation edged up to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent, led by clothing (1.1 percent vs 0.7 percent), daily use goods (1.2 percent vs 1.1 percent) and consumer durable goods (0.2 percent vs -0.2 percent) while inflation was unchanged for food production (at 0.7 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices went up 0.4 percent.


Monday September 10 2018
China August Trade Surplus Smaller than Estimated
Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus narrowed sharply to USD 27.91 billion in August of 2018 from USD 40.05 billion in the same month a year earlier and missing market consensus of USD 39.3 billion. Imports jumped 20 percent to USD 185.56 billion while exports rose at a softer 9.8 percent to USD 210.08 billion.

Imports climbed 20 percent from a year earlier to an all-time high of USD 189.52 billion in August, beating market forecasts of 18.7 percent and following a 27.3 percent growth in July. China's unwrought copper imports rose 7.7 percent from a year earlier to 420,000 tonnes and were down 6.7 percent from July's 450,000 tonnes. Also, imports of copper concentrate rose 15.4 percent to 1.66 million tonnes, but declined by 9.7 percent from a month earlier of 1.84 million tonnes. Crude shipments increased 12.9 percent to 38.38 million tonnes, and also grew 6.6 percent from the previous month's reading of 36.01 million tonnes, boosted by a rebound in demand from smaller, independent refiners. Natural gas imports were at 7.77 million tonnes in August, up 37.3 percent year-on-year and up 5.4 percent from 7.37 million in July, as state-owned enterprises stock up ahead of winter. China's coal imports went up 13.5 percent year-on-year to 28.68 million tonnes, but were slightly below July's figure of 28.68 million tonnes. Imports of iron ore were up 0.8 percent from the prior year to 89.3 million tonnes, but were down by 0.7 percent from July's 89.95 million tonnes due to continued anti-pollution measures and environmental inspections. In addition, imports of soybeans surged 8.3 percent from the prior year to 9.15 million tonnes, and were higher than July's 8.00 milion tonnes, as buyers continued to buy from Brazil after Beijing imposed tariffs on US shipments. China imposed a 25 percent tariff on a list of American products totalling USD 34 billion, including soybeans, on July 6th, in response to US penalties on Chinese goods worth the same amount.

Exports rose at a softer 9.8 percent to USD 217.43 billion, after a 12.2 percent gain in July and slightly below expectations of 10.1 percent. It was the smallest increase in exports since March amid an escalating trade dispute between China and the US, with President Donald Trump recently threatening to impose duties on another USD 267 billion of Chinese goods. Unwrought aluminium and products exports jumped 26.1 percent year-on-year to 517,000 tonnes and were up 1.4 percent from July's 510,000 tonnes. In addition, sales of rice surged 279.3 percent to 258,000 tonnes, and were also 17.3 percent higher from 220,000 tonnes in July. Meanwhile, exports of steel products fell 9.9 percent to 5.88 million tonnes from 6.52 million tonnes last year, as the world's top producer of steel and aluminium has been subject to 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminium import tariffs, in the United States, since March 23rd.

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, widened to a fresh record high of USD 31.05 billion in August from USD 28.09 billion in July. Exports to the country rose 13.2 percent even with US tariffs targeting USD 50 billion of Chinese exports in effect for their first full month in August, while imports increased only by 2.7 percent.

Over the first eight months of the year, the trade surplus decreased to USD 194.01 billion from USD 263.00 billion in the same period 2017. The eight-month period trade surplus with the US was reported at USD 192.64 billion, up 15 percent from the same period of the previous year.

In yuan-denominated terms, China's trade surplus came in at CNY 179.75 billion in August, as imports jumped 18.8 percent and exports went up 7.9 percent. For January-August, the trade surplus narrowed 31.3 percent to CNY 1.25 trillion, as imports grew 13.7 percent and exports were up 5.4 percent.


Thursday August 09 2018
China Inflation Rate Rises to 4-Month High in July
National Bureau of Statistics of China | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer price inflation rose to a four-month high of 2.1 percent year-on-year in July of 2018 from 1.9 percent in the previous month and above market consensus of 1.9 percent. Still, inflation remained well below the Chinese government’s target of around 3 percent for 2018.

The politically sensitive food inflation picked up to a three-month high of 0.5 percent in July from 0.3 percent in the prior month, mainly boosted by a rebound in fresh fruit prices (0.4 percent vs -5.3 percent in June). Additional upward pressure came from: eggs (11.7 percent vs 15.1 percent); poultry (6.6 percent vs 6.7 percent); and fresh vegetables (3.8 percent vs 9.3 percent). Pork prices, however, continued to fall sharply (-9.6 percent vs -12.8 percent), as well as edible oil costs (-0.7 percent vs -0.8 percent).

In addition, prices rose for: transport and communication (3 percent vs 2.4 percent), with vehicle fuel prices jumping 22.2 percent (vs 17.8 percent); rent, fuel & utilities (2.4 percent vs 2.3 percent); education, culture and recreation (2.3 percent vs 1.8 percent); household goods and services (1.6 percent vs 1.5 percent); clothing (1.2 percent vs 1.1 percent); other goods and services (1.2 percent vs 0.9 percent); and healthcare (4.6 percent vs 5 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes volatile items such as food and energy, stood at 1.9 percent in July, the same as in the previous two months.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.3 percent in July, following a 0.1 percent drop in June and beating market expectations of a 0.2 percent rise. It was the first monthly increase in consumer prices for five months, driven by higher prices of pork (2.9 percent vs 1.1 percent) and fresh vegetables (1.7 percent vs -1.8 percent).

Meanwhile, the producer price index increased by 4.6 percent from a year earlier in July, after a 4.7 percent rise in the previous month and beating market expectations of 4.4 percent. Prices of means of production went up 6 percent (vs 6.1 percent in June), buoyed by extraction (13.4 percent vs 11.5 percent), raw materials (9 percent vs 8.8 percent) and processing (4.1 percent vs 4.6 percent). Also, consumer goods inflation rose to 0.6 percent in July from 0.4 percent in June, led by clothing prices (0.7 percent vs 0.3 percent) while inflation was unchanged for both food production (at 0.7 percent) and daily use goods (at 1.1 percent). By contrast, prices of consumer durable goods continued to decline (-0.2 percent vs -0.5 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices edged up 0.1 percent.


Wednesday August 08 2018
China July Trade Surplus Smaller than Expected
Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus narrowed sharply to USD 28.05 bilion in July 2018 from USD 44.85 billion in the same month a year earlier and far below market consensus of USD 39.33 bilion. Imports jumped 27.3 percent to a near record high while exports rose at a softer 12.2 percent.

Imports surged 27.3 percent from a year earlier to USD 187.52 billion in July, way faster than market expectations of a 16.2 percent rise and compared with a 14.1 percent growth in June. China's coal imports soared 49.1 percent year-on-year to 29.01 million tonnes, the highest since January 2014, and were above June's 25.46 million tonnes, as rising temperatures boosted demand for coal-fired power to run air conditioners in the world's top buyer of the fuel. In addition, imports of copper concentrate rose to a record 1.845 million tonnes last month, up 31.8 percent from a year earlier and also 5.4 percent higher than 1.75 million tonnes imported in June. China's unwrought copper imports - which include anode, refined, alloy and semi-finished copper products - rose 15.9 percent year-on-year to 452,000 tonnes in July. Crude shipments came in at 36.02 million tonnes in July, or 8.48 million barrels per day, the third lowest so far this year. They were up from 8.18 million bpd a year ago, and from June's 8.36 million bpd. Imports of iron ore also grew 4.3 percent year-on-year to 89.96 million tonnes in July. Meantime, arrivals of soybeans fell 20.6 percent to 8.01 million tonnes in July from last year's 10 million tonnes, and were lower than June's  8.70 milion tonnes. Beijing imposed a 25 percent tariff on a list of American products totalling USD 34 billion, including soybeans, on July 6th.

Exports rose 12.2 percent to USD 215.57 billion in July, beating forecasts for a 10 percent increase and up from a 11.2 percent gain in June, despite fresh US tariffs. Unwrought aluminium and aluminium product exports were 519,000 tonnes last month, their second-highest level on record, boosted by a weaker yuan and a still-favourable price arbitrage to international markets. July's aluminium exports were up 18 percent from 440,000 tonnes a year ago and up 1.8 percent from 510,000 tonnes in June. Meanwhile, sales of steel products dropped 15 percent to 5.89 million tonnes in July from 6.96 million tonnes last year. Also, steel exports were down 15 percent from June's 11-month high of 6.94 million tonnes. China, the world's top producer of steel and aluminium, has been subject to 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminium import tariffs, in the United States, since March 23rd. The Trump administration just announced plans to impose new tariffs on USD 16 billion in Chinese imports, bringing the total value of products covered by the duties to USD 50 billion.

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, narrowed slightly to USD 28.09 billion in July from June's record of USD 28.93 billion in June. Exports to the US grew 11 percent year over year from 12.5 percent in June, while imports was up 11 percent from 9 percent.

For January-July, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 166.63 billion from USD 222.95 billion in the same period 2017. The seven-month trade surplus with the US widened to USD 161.63 billion, compared with about USD 142.75 billion in the same period last year.

In yuan-denominated terms, China's trade surplus came in at CNY 176.96 billion in July, as imports increased by 20.9 percent and exports by 6 percent. For January-July, the trade surplus narrowed by 30.6 percent to CNY 1.06 trillion, as imports grew by 12.9 percent and exports by 5 percent.


Monday July 16 2018
China Economy Expands 1.8% QoQ in Q2
National Bureau of Statistics l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy grew by 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to June of 2018, compared to a 1.4 percent expansion in the previous period and beating market estimates of a 1.6 percent growth. It was the fastest quarterly expansion since the September quarter 2017.

Year-on-year, the economy advanced 6.7 percent year-on-year in the June quarter of 2018, after a 6.8 percent growth in the previous three quarters  and matching market expectations.  It was the weakest pace of expansion since the third quarter of 2016.

For 2018, the Chinese government targets growth at around 6.5 percent amid efforts to deleverage, contain debt and financial risks. 

In 2017, the economy expanded by 6.9 percent, beating the govermet target of around 6.5 percent and following a 26-year low of 6.7 percent in 2016.





Monday July 16 2018
China Q2 GDP Growth Slows to 6.7%
National Bureau of Statistics | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy advanced 6.7 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018, easing from a 6.8 percent growth in the previous preiod and matching market consensus. It was the weakest pace of expansion since the third quarter of 2016 amid intensifying tariff battle with the US and efforts to deleverage debt and financial risks.

For the first half of the year, China's economy expanded 6.8 percent compared to the same period 2017 amid efforts to deleverage debt and contain financial risks. The value added of the primary industry was up by 3.2 percent; the secondary industry by 6.1 percent; and the tertiary industry by 7.6 percent.

Industrial production rose 6 percent year-on-year in June, easing from a 6.8 percent increase in May and missing market consensus of 6.5 percent. Output growth slowed for all sectors: manufacturing (6 percent vs 6.6 percent in May); electricity, gas and water (9.2 percent vs 12.2 percent); and mining (2.7 percent vs 3 percent). Across industries, output rose at a softer pace for: chemicals (2.9 percent vs 4.3 percent); transport equipment (0.7 percent vs 2.5 percent); machinery (3.8 percent vs 6.4 percent); communication (10.9 percent vs 13.5 percent); and power equipment (9.3 percent vs 12.4 percent). Also, production of textiles continued to contract (-0.1 percent vs -1.5 percent), while output growth picked up for ferrous metals (7.8 percent vs 7.4 percent), general equipment (6.8 percent vs 6.6 percent), and non-metal minerals (3.7 percent vs 2.6 percent). In the first half of the year, industrial production grew by 6.7 percent.

Retail sales increased 9 percent from a year earlier in June 2018, following a 8.5 percent rise in the previous month and beating market expectations of 8.8 percent. Sales growth accelerated for: garments (10 percent vs 6.6 percent in May); cosmetics (11.5 percent vs 10.3 percent); jewelry (7.9 percent vs 6.7 percent); personal care (15.8 percent vs 10.3 percent); home appliances (14.3 percent vs 7.6 percent); furniture (15 percent vs 8.6 percent); telecoms (16.1 percent vs 12.2 percent); oil, oil products (16.5 percent vs 14 percent); and building materials (7.2 percent vs 6.5 percent). Meantime, sales of office supplies rose at a softer pace (3.5 percent vs 8.1 percent), and those of automobiles declined further (-7 percent vs -1 percent). Considering the first half of the year, retail trade grew 9.4 percent. Retail sales in rural areas increased 10.5 percent, continuing to outpace the growth in urban regions, where sales rose 9.2 percent.

Figures released earlier showed exports increased 11.3 percent year-on-year to USD 216.7 billion in June, while imports grew 14.1 percent to USD 175.1 billion. For the first half of 2018, outbound shipments rose 12.4 percent and purchases went up 19.7 percent. The six-month trade surplus with the US jumped 13.8 percent to USD 133.76 billion, as exports increased by 13.6 percent and imports by 11.8 percent.

China's fixed-asset investment increased by 6 percent year-on-year to CNY 29.73 trillion in the first half of the year, compared to a 6.1 percent growth in the January to May period and in line with market expectations. It was the smallest gain in fixed-asset investment since the series began in 2004, mainly due to a slowdown in public investment (3 percent vs 4.1 percent in January-May). At the same time, private investment grew by 8.4 percent (vs 8.1 percent). In breakdown, FAI in agriculture was up 13.5 percent (vs 15.2 percent), followed by 6.8 percent for the service sector (vs 7.7 percent), and 3.8 percent for industry (vs 2.5 percent). In addition, investment in electricity, heat, gas and water production continued to fall (-10.3 percent vs -10.8 percent), as well as in railway transport (-10.3 percent vs -11.4 percent).

For 2018, the Chinese government targets growth at around 6.5 percent, the same as in 2017.





Friday July 13 2018
China June Trade Surplus Larger than Expected
Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus narrowed to USD 41.61 billion in June 2018 from USD 42.79 billion in the same month a year earlier. The surplus came in well above market consensus of USD 27.9 billion, as exporters were rushing shipments before US tariffs went into effect.

Imports rose 14.1 percent from a year earlier to USD 175.1 billion in June, missing forecasts of a 20.8 percent growth, and compared with a 26 percent rise in May. China's coal imports rose 18 percent from a year ago to 25.47 million tonnes in June, and were above May's 22.33 million tonnes, as utilities went on a buying spree to shore up electricity generation. Purchases of unwrought copper imports went up 14.9 percent year-on-year to 448,000 tonnes, but fell 4.7 percent from May's figure of 470,000 tonnes. Also, imports of  soybeans increased by 13.1 percent to 8.7 million tonnes, as buyers scooped up Brazilian supplies to avoid potentially higher costs on US soybeans that are subject to Beijing's tariffs. However, shipments were down 10.1 percent from last month's 9.68 million tonnes. In addition, arrivals of vegetable oils surged 35.6 percen to 529,000 tonnes, but were down 11.8 percent from May. On the other hand, China's iron ore imports dropped to 83.24 million tonnes last month, down from May's 94.14 million tonnes and from 94.7 million tonnes in June last year. Crude oil imports fell for a second month in a row in June to 34.35 million tonnes, or 8.36 million barrels per day, the lowest since December. That was down 9 percent from 9.2 million bpd in May and also down from 8.8 million bpd in June last year.

Exports grew 11.3 percent to USD 216.7 billion, beating forecasts for a 10 percent increase and following a 12.6 percent gain in May. Unwrought aluminium and aluminium product exports were 510,000 tonnes last month, their highest level since December 2014, up 10.9 percent from 460,000 tonnes a year ago and from 480,000 tonnes in May. In addition, sales of steel products climbed 1.9 percent year-on-year to 6.94 million tonnes, hitting their highest since July 2017. Exports were up 0.9 percent from 6.88 million tonnes in May.

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, widened to a record USD 28.97 billion in June from USD 24.58 billion in May. Sales grew by 12.6 percent from a year earlier to hit the largest on record of USD 42.6 billion. Meantime, imports grew by 9.6 percent to USD 13.7 billion.

For the first half of this year, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 144.4 billion from USD 184.7 billion in the same period 2017, as exports rose 12.4 percent and imports grew 19.7 percent. The six-month trade surplus with the US surged 13.8 percent to USD 133.76 billion, as exports increased by 13.6 percent and imports by 11.8 percent.

In yuan-denominated terms, China's trade surplus came in at CNY 261.9 billion in June, as imports increased by 6 percent and exports expanded 3.1 percent. Over the January-June period, the trade surplus dropped 26.7 percent to CNY 901.32 billion, with exports increasing by 4.9 percent and imports by 11.5 percent.



Tuesday July 10 2018
China Inflation Rate Rises to 3-Month High in June
Statistics China | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer price inflation edged up to 1.9 percent year-on-year in June of 2018 from 1.8 percent in the previous month and matching market consensus. It is the highest rate since March, as prices of food went up at a faster pace and cost of non-food continued to increase.

In June, the politically sensitive food prices increased by 0.3 percent, faster than a 0.1 percent rise in the prior month. Prices continued to rise  for fresh vegetables (9.3 percet from 10 percent in May) and eggs (15.1 percent from 20.8 percent); while fell less for pork (-12.8 percent from -16.7 percent); and  continued to decline for fresh fruit (-5.3 percent from -2.7 percent). 

Meantime, cost of non-food went up 2.2 percent, the same as in May. Upward pressure came from: transport and communication (2.4 percent from 1.8 percent); other goods and services (0.9 percent from 1 percent); clothing (1.1 percent, the same as in May); rent, fuel & utilities (2.3 percent from 2.2 percent in May);  household goods and services (1.5 percent, the same as in May); healthcare (5 percent from 5.1 percent); and education, culture and recreation (1.8 percent from 1.9 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes the prices of food and energy, stood at 1.9 percent, the same as in the previous month.

For 2018, China set its consumer inflation target at around 3 percent, in line with the preceding year's figure.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell by 0.1 percent, following a 0.2 percent drop in May and in line with expectations.

Meanwhile, the producer price index increased by 4.7 percent from a year earlier in June of 2018, after a 4.1 percent rise in the previous month and above market expectations of 4.5 percent. It is the highest producer inflation since last December. Prices of means of production went up at a faster pace (6.1 percent from 5.4 percent in May), namely extraction (11.5 percent from 8.1 percent), raw materials (8.8 percent from 7.4 percent) and processing (4.6 percent from 4.4 percent). Also, cost of consumer goods rose more (0.4 percent from 0.3 percent), namely food production (0.7 percent from 0.3 percent), clothing (0.3 percent from 0.3 percent); daily use goods (1.1 percent from 1.1 percent); while prices of consumer durable goods declined less (-0.5 percent from -0.7 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices went up by 0.3 percent.