Thursday October 19 2017
China Economy Grows 1.7% in Q3
National Bureau of Statistics l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy advanced by 1.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to September of 2017, compared to an upwardly revised 1.8 percent expansion in the previous period and in line with market expectations.

Year-on-year,  the economy expanded an annual 6.8 percent, following a 6.9 percent growth in the previous two periods and matching market consensus. It was the weakest pace of expansion since the fourth quarter of 2016.

For 2017, the Chinese government expects the economy to grow by around 6.5 percent; compared to a 6.7 percent expansion in 2016, which was the slowest growth in 26 years. 




Thursday October 19 2017
China GDP Growth Eases to 6.8% in Q3
National Bureau of Statistics l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy advanced 6.8 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017, following a 6.9 percent growth in the previous two periods and matching market consensus. It was the weakest pace of expansion since the fourth quarter of 2016, as fixed-asset investment rose the least in nearly 18 years while industrial output and retail sales increased further.

The latest figures came in as the Communist Party holds its five-yearly congress to decide the leadership team around President Xi Jinping and the party's direction for the next half-decade and beyond.

From January to September 2017, non-farm fixed asset investment in China went up 7.5 percent year-on-year to CNY 458,478 billion, easing from a 7.8 percent in the first eight months of the year and missing market expectations of 7.7 percent. It was the weakest gain in fixed asset investment since January to December 1999, as private investment growth eased to 6 percent from 6.4 percent in January-August 2017, and public investment rose 11 percent, also below 11.2 percent in the previous period. By industry, fixed investment increased at a softer rate for power (1.7 percent from 2.6 percent in January-August) and railway transport (0.5 percent from 4.2 percent), and contracted for ferrous metal mining (-23.5 percent from -22.3 percent), non-ferrous metal mining (-20.8 percent from -20.4 percent) and non-metal mineral mining (-13.7 percent from -10.9 percent). By contrast, investment in oil and gas extraction jumped 12.4 percent, following a 6.9 percent gain until August.

In September, industrial production rose 6.6 percent year-on-year, following a 6.0 percent gain in the prior month and beating market expectations of 6.2 percent. It was the steepest increase in industrial production since June, as output grew further for both manufacturing (8.1 percent from 6.9 percent in August) and electricity, gas and water production (7.8 percent from 8.7 percent). On the other hand, mining production continued to decline (-3.8 percent from -3.4 percent). On a monthly basis, industrial production grew by 0.56 percent.

Retail sales rose 10.3 percent from a year earlier in September, following a 10.1 percent increase in the previous month and slightly above market consensus of 10.2 percent. Sales went up at faster for: Oil, oil products (8.5 percent from 4.5 percent in August); building materials (9.5 percent from 8.8 percent); furniture (15.5 percent from 11.3 percent); and personal care (7.8 percent from 7.0 percent). Meantime, sales increased at a softer rate for: garments (6.2 percent from 8.9 percent); cosmetics (13.4 percent from 14.7 percent); jewelry (5.3 percent from 6.4 percent); home appliances (6.8 percent from 8.4 percent); office supplies (4.4 percent from 5.8 percent); and telecoms (3.8 percent from 12.2 percent). Sales of automobiles grew 7.9 percent, the same pace as in August. On a monthly basis, retail sales rose 0.9 percent.

Figures released earlier showed exports increased by 8.1 percent year-on-year to USD 198.3 billion, following a 5.5 percent rise in the prior month but below estimates of an 8.8 percent growth. Imports rose 18.7 percent to USD 169.8 billion, after a 13.3 percent rise a month earlier and higher than market consensus of a 13.5 percent rise.

For 2017, the Chinese government expects the economy to grow by around 6.5 percent, slightly below last year's 26-year low of 6.7 percent. Regarding property sectors, Beijing's efforts to slash debt levels and curb property speculation started to show an effect on overall growth.

On a quarterly basis, the economy advanced by 1.7 percent in the third quarter of 2017, compared to an upwardly revised 1.8 percent expansion in the previous three months and in line with market estimates. 





Monday October 16 2017
China Inflation Rate Slows to 1.6% in September
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer prices rose 1.6 percent year-on-year in September of 2017, following a 1.8 percent rise in August and in line with market consensus. The slowdown was mainly due to falling cost of food while cost of non-food continued to rise.

In September, the politically sensitive food prices declined by 1.4 percent (from -0.2 percent in the prior month) while non-food cost rose 2.4 percent (from 2.3 percent). Cost of consumer goods went up 0.7 percent (from 1.0 percent) and those of services increased by 3.3 percent (from 3.1 percent). 

Among food, prices decreased for: pork (-12.4 percent from -13.5 percent); tobacco (-0.1 percent from -0.1 percent); fresh vegetables (-1.0 percent from 9.7 percent) and fresh fruits (-3.0 percent from a flat reading in a month earlier). In contrast, prices rose for: eggs (3.7 percent from 4.3 percent) and milk (0.4 percent from 0.4 percent). 

For non-food categories, prices increased less than in the previous month for: transport and communication (0.5 percent from 0.7 percent) and education, culture & recreation (2.3 percent from 2.5 percent). Meantime, cost rose at a faster pace for: rent, fuel & utilities (2.8 percent from 2.7 percent); household goods and services (1.4 percent from 1.3 percent) and healthcare (7.6 percent from 5.9 percent). Inflation was steady for clothing (1.3 percent) and other goods and services (1.4 percent). 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.5 percent, after gaining 0.4 percent in a month earlier and slightly above estimates a 0.4 percent rise. It was  the highest monthly figure since January.

The producer price index increased by 6.9 percent from a year earlier, compared to a 6.3 percent rise in the previous month and above estimates of a 6.3 percent gain. It was the 13th straight month of increase in producer inflation and the highest since March, as prices rose more than in a month earlier for means of production (9.1 percent from 8.3 percent, namely extraction: 17.2 percent, raw materials: 11.9 percent and processing: 7.3 percent). Also, cost of consumer goods went up slightly faster (0.7 percent (from 0.6 percent, namely food production: 0.7 percent, clothing: 1.2 percent and daily use goods: 1.3 percent). Meanwhile, prices of consumer durable goods were unchanged, the same as in the prior two months. On a monthly basis, producer prices rose 1.0 percent, compared to  a 0.9 percent gain in August.





Friday October 13 2017
China September Trade Surplus Smallest in 6 Months
Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus fell sharply to USD 28.47 billion in September of 2017 from USD 40.94 billion in the same month a year earlier and below market consensus of USD 39.50 billion. It was the smallest trade surplus since March, as imports jumped.

Imports jumped 18.7 percent from the previous year to USD 169.79 billion in September, beating market expectations of a 13.5 percent expansion and accelerating from 13.3 percent in August. It marked the eleventh straight month of growth in inbound shipments and the fastest in six months, boosted by industrial resources such as steel, copper, iron ore and coal. The country's iron ore imports rose to a record 103 million tonnes, and copper imports were the highest since March. Also, imports of soybean rose 12.7 percent to 8.1 million tonnes, boosted by faster-than-expected loading of beans in South America.

Exports rose 8.1 percent to USD 198.26 billion, below forecasts of 8.8 percent but beating August's 5.5 percent. 

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, widened to the largest on record of USD 28.1 billion, as exports to the country rose 13.8 percent to hit an all-time high of USD 40.9 billion while imports grew 15.5 percent to USD 12.9 billion. Also, the trade surplus with the EU was USD 9.2 billion, with exports rising by 10.4 percent and imports by 30.9 percent; and that with ASEAN countries was USD 1.9 billion, as exports advanced 10.8 percent and imports 20.2 percent. Meanwhile, the biggest trade deficit was recorded with Taiwan (USD 11.3 billion, with exports increasing 24.7 percent and imports 17.8 percent), followed by South Korea (USD 8.3 billion, with exports increasing 12.4 percent and imports 20.6 percent), Australia (USD 4.8 billion, with exports increasing 1.3 percent and imports 29 percent) and Japan (USD 3.9 billion, with exports showing no growth and imports rising 17.8 percent). China's imports from North Korea dropped for a seven stright month in September, falling 37.9 percent year-on-year, as Beijing implemented the latest UN trade sanctions; and exports shrank 6.7 percent.

Considering January to September 2017, the trade surplus came in at USD 302.14 billion, down from a USD 379.01 billion surplus in the same period the preceding year. China's January-Septemper trade surplus with the US was USD 195.54 billion.

In yuan-denominated terms, exports increased by 9.0 percent from a year earlier in September, following a 6.9 percent rise in August. Inbound shipments rose 19.5 percent, after growing 14.4 percent in the prior month. 




Sunday September 10 2017
China Inflation Rate at 7-Month High of 1.8% in August
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer prices rose 1.8 percent year-on-year in August of 2017, following a 1.4 percent rise in July while market expected a 1.6 percent gain. It was the highest inflation rate since January, as cost of non-food rose at a faster pace and cost of food fell much less than in a month earlier.

In August, the politically sensitive food prices declined by 0.2 percent (from -1.1 percent in the prior month) while non-food cost rose 2.3 percent (from 2.0 percent). Cost of consumer goods went up 1.0 percent (from 0.5 percent) and those of services increased by 3.1 percent (from 2.9 percent). 

Among food, prices decreased for: pork (-13.5 percent from -15.5 percent) and and tobacco (-0.1 percent from -0.2 percent).  In contrast, prices rose for: eggs (4.3 percent from -4.9 percent), milk (0.4 percent from 0.3 percent) and fresh vegetables (9.7 percent from 9.1 percent). Cost was flat for fresh fruits (from 1.7 percent), 

For non-food categories, upward prices presssure came from most categories: rent, fuel & utilities (2.7 percent from 2.5 percent); clothing  (1.3 percent from 1.4 percent; household goods and services (1.3 percent from 1.1 percent); education, culture & recreation (2.5 percent); healthcare (5.9 percent from 5.5 percent) and other goods and services (1.4 percent from 1.3 percent). In addition, cost of transport and communication rebounded (0.7 percent from -0.2 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.4 percent, after gaining 0.1 percent in a month earlier and slightly above estimates a 0.3 percent rise. It was also the highest monthly figure since January.

The producer price index increased by 6.3 percent from a year earlier, compared to a 5.5 percent rise in the previous three months and above estimates of a 5.6 percent gain. It was the twelfth straight month of increase in producer inflation and the highest since April. Prices increased more than in a month earlier for means of production (8.3 percent from 7.3 percent, namely extraction: 18.2 percent, raw materials: 11.0 percent and processing: 6.4 percent). Also, cost of consumer goods went up slightly faster (0.6 percent from 0.5 percent, namely food production: 0.7 percent, clothing: 1.4 percent and daily use goods: 0.8 percent). Meanwhile, prices of consumer durable goods were unchanged, the same as in July. On a monthly basis, producer prices rose 0.9 percent and marking the second consecutive month of rise.


Friday September 08 2017
China Trade Surplus Smallest in 3 Months in August
Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus fell to USD 41.99 billion in August of 2017 from USD 50.23 billion in the same month a year earlier and below market consensus of USD 48.60 billion. It was the smallest trade surplus since May, as exports rose less than imports.

In August, sales grew by 5.5 percent year-on-year to USD 199.22 billion, slowing from a 7.2 percent rise in the prior month while market expected a 6.0 percent gain. It was the weakest increase in outbound shipments since a 2 percent fall in February, due to softening global demand.

Sales to the US went up 8.4 percent, easing from a 8.9 percent rise in the prior month. Those to the EU countries rose at a slower 5.2 percent (from 10.1 percent in July). In addition, exports to Japan increased less 1.1 percent (after a 6.6 percent rise in a month earlier). Meantime, exports to South Korea grew at a faster 7.7 percent (from 3.6 percent).  

Imports increased by 13.3 percent, following an 11 percent increase in a month earlier to USD 157.19 billion and above estimates of a 10.0 percent. It marked the tenth straight month of growth in inbound shipments, with purchases of industrial commodities continuing to lead the way.

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, widened to USD 26.23 billion from USD 25.20 billion in July. It is the highest surplus since September of 2015.

Considering January to August 2017, the trade surplus came in at USD 273.67 billion. down from a USD 338.07 billion surplus in the same period the preceding year. 
In yuan-denominated terms, exports increased by 6.9 percent from a year earlier in August, following a 11.2 percent rise in July. Inbound shipments rose 14.4 percent, after growing 14.7 percent in the prior month. 



Wednesday August 09 2017
China Inflation Rate at 3-Month Low of 1.4% in July
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer prices rose 1.4 percent year-on-year in July of 2017, following a 1.5 percent rise in June while market expected a 1.5 percent gain. It was the lowest inflation rate since April, as cost of non-food slowed and cost of food continued to fall.

In July, the politically sensitive food prices declined by 1.1 percent (from -1.2 percent in the prior month) while non-food cost rose 2.0 percent (from 2.2 percent). Cost of consumer goods went up 0.5 percent (from 0.6 percent) and those of services increased by 2.9 percent (from 3.0 percent). 

Among food, prices fell for: pork (-15.5 percent from -16.7 percent), eggs (-4.9 percent from -9.3 percent) and tobacco (-0.1 percent from -0.2 percent). In contrast, prices rose for: fresh fruits (1.7 percent from 9.9 percent), milk (0.3 percent from 0.1 percent) and fresh vegetables (9.1 percent from 5.8 percent). 

For non-food categories, cost rose at a slower pace for: healthcare (5.5 percent from 5.7 percent) and other goods and services (1.3 percent from 2.8 percent). Inflation was steady for clothing (1.4 percent); household goods and services (1.1 percent); rent, fuel & utilities (2.5 percent) and education, culture & recreation (2.5 percent). On the other hand, cost of transport & communication declined by 0.2 percent (from 0.1 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent, after declining 0.2 percent in a month earlier and slightly below estimates of a 0.2 percent rise. 

The producer price index increased by 5.5 percent from a year earlier, the same in the preceding two months. The figure was in line with estimates and marking the eleventh straight month of increase in producer prices. Inflation was steady for: means of production (7.3 percent, namely extraction: 15.8 percent, raw materials: 9.3 percent and processing: 5.8 percent); consumer goods (0.5 percent, namely food production: 0.4 percent, clothing: 1.2 percent and daily use goods: 0.6 percent). Meanwhile, prices of consumer durable goods were unchanged, after gaining 0.1 percent in June. On a monthly basis, producer prices rose 0.2 percent and marking the first increase in four months.


Tuesday August 08 2017
China Trade Surplus Beats Expectations in July
Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus widened to USD 46.74 billion in July of 2017 from USD 48.61 billion in the same month a year earlier but above market consensus of USD 46.08 billion as exports and imports grew less.

Exports from China rose 7.2 percent year-on-year to USD 193.6 billion in July of 2017, easing from an 11.3 percent in the prior month and missing market expectations of 10.9 percent. It was the weakest incraese since February, as shipments to most major trading partners grew less, mainly to the US, South Korea and the EU. Meanwhile, exports to Japan rose at a faster pace.

Imports to China increased by 11 percent year-on-year to USD 146.9 billion in July of 2017, slowing from a 17.2 percent rise in June and missing market expectations of 16.6 percent. It was the slowest growth in imports since December last year due to cooling domestic demand.

The trade surplus with the United States narrowed to USD 25.2 billion from USD 25.4 billion in June, as exports grew less (8.9 percent versus 19.8 percent in June). The US and China have failed recently to agree on new steps to reduce the trade imbalances, worsening the economic and security relations. In contrast, the trade surplus with the European Union, the country's biggest trading partner, rose to USD 12.2 billion from USD 11.4 billion in June.

Considering January to July 2017, the trade surplus fell to USD 231.7 billion from USD 287.8 billion in the same period of 2016. 

In yuan-denominated terms, exports increased by 11.2 percent from a year earlier in July, following a 17.3 percent rise in June. Inbound shipments rose 14.7 percent, after growing 23.1 percent in the prior month. 



Monday July 17 2017
China Economy Grows 1.7% QoQ In Q2, Matches Consensus
National Bureau of Statistics l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy advanced 1.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to March of 2017, stronger than a 1.3 percent expansion in the previous period and in line with market estimates.

Year-on-year,  the economy advanced an annual 6.9 percent, the same as in the prior quarter while market expected a 6.8 percent expansion. Growth remained at its strongest level since the September quarter 2015. 

For 2017, the Chinese government expects the economy to grow by around 6.5 percent; compared to a 6.7 percent expansion in 2016, which was the slowest growth in 26 years. 


Monday July 17 2017
China GDP Growth Slightly Beats Estimates In Q2
National Bureau of Statistics l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy advanced 6.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017, the same pace as in the previous period while markets expected a 6.8 percent expansion. Growth remained at its strongest level since the third quarter of 2015, as industrial output and retail sales picked up while fixed-asset investment remained strong. For 2017, the Chinese government expects the economy to grow by around 6.5 percent, slightly lower than last year's 26-year low of 6.7 percent.

In June, industrial production increased by 7.6 percent year-on-year, faster than a 6.5 percent rise in the prior period and beating expectations of a 6.5 percent gain. It was the steepest increase in industrial production since March, as output expanded at a faster pace for: Manufacturing (8.0 percent from 6.9 percent in the prior month) and electricity, gas and water production (7.3 percent from 6.4 percent). In contrast, mining production fell 0.1 percent after a decline of 0.5 percent in May. 

Retail sales rose 11.0 percent from a year earlier, following a 10.7 percent increase in May and above consensus of a 10.6 percent gain. It was the sharpest increase in retail sales since December 2015, as sales surged for telecoms (18.5 percent from 1.9 percent in May). Also, sales went up at a faster pace for: Automobiles (9.8 percent from 7.0 percent in May), building materials (15.2 percent from 11.0 percent), furniture (14.8 percent from 13.5 percent), office supplies (16.4 percent from 5.0 percent), cosmetics (17.0 percent from 12.9 percent) and personal care (11.2 percent from 8.7 percent).

Non-farm fixed asset investment rose 8.6 percent year-on-year to 280,605 CNY billion, also above market expectations of a 8.5 percent increase.

From January to June 2017, government spending rose 15.8 percent compared to the same period the prior year. At the same time, fiscal revenue increased by 9.8 percent. In June only, fiscal expenditure jumped 19.1 percent year-on-year, much faster than a 9.2 percent rise in May. The pick-up in fiscal spending was mainly due to faster funding allocation to guarantee the key expenditure needs under a drive to make fiscal policy more active and effective. Meantime, China's fiscal revenue went up 8.9 percent, following a 3.7 percent growth in a month earlier. 

Figures released earlier showed exports increased by 11.3 percent year-on-year to USD 196.6 billion, faster than an 8.7 percent rise in the prior month and beating estimates of an 8.7 percent growth. It was the fourth straight month of increase in exports, reaching the highest value so far this year, supported by firmer global demand. Inbound shipments rose 17.2 percent to USD 153.8 billion, after a 14.8 percent rise a month earlier and higher than market consensus of a 13.1 percent rise.

Considering the first half of 2017, final consumption accounted for 63.4 percent of the Chinese GDP growth. Meanwhile, investment contributed with 32.7 percent of growth and net exports accounted for 3.9 percent.

For 2017, the Chinese government expects the economy to grow by around 6.5 percent, slightly below last year's 26-year low of 6.7 percent. While officials have vowed to push ahead with reforms, the central bank has shifted to a modest tightening bias at the start of 2017, guiding market interest rate higher during Q1. Regarding property sectors, Beijing is trying to rein in debt and a housing bubble with tough measures.

On a quarterly basis, the economy advanced 1.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter of 2017, faster than a 1.3 percent expansion in the previous period and matching market expectations.