Saturday December 09 2017
China Inflation Rate Slows to 1.7% in November
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer prices rose 1.7 percent year-on-year in November of 2017, after a 1.9 percent rise in October and slightly below market consensus of a 1.8 percent gain. The slowdown was mainly due to a further fall in cost of food while cost of non-food continued to increase.

In November, the politically sensitive food prices declined by 1.1 percent (from -0.4 percent in the prior month) while non-food cost rose 2.5 percent (from 2.4 percent). Cost of consumer goods went up 0.9 percent (from 1.1 percent) and those of services increased by 3.1 percent (from 3.2 percent). 

Among food, prices dropped for: pork (-9.0 percent from -10.1 percent); fresh vegetables (-9.5 percent from 0.3 percent) and fresh fruits (3.7 percent from -0.7 percent). In contrast, prices rose for: eggs (5.6 percent from 3.1 percent) and milk (0.4 percent from 0.3 percent). Meantime, prices of tobacco was flat (after a 0.1 percent fall in a month earlier). 

For non-food categories, prices increased at a slower rate for: healthcare (7.0 percent from 7.2 percent); education, culture & recreation (2.0 percent from 2.3 percent) and other goods and services (1.7 percent from 1.8 percent). Meantime, cost rose  more for transport and communication (1.3 percent from 0.8 percent) while inflation was steady for: rent, fuel & utilities (2.8 percent) and household goods and services (1.5 percent). 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices were flat, following a 0.1 percent growth in a month earlier while markets estimated a 0.1 percent rise. 

The producer price index increased by 5.8 percent from a year earlier in November of 2017, compared to a 6.9 percent rise in the prior two months and slightly less than market estimates of a 5.9 percent gain. It was the 15th straight month of rise in producer prices but the least since July. Cost went up less for means of production (7.5 percent from 9.0 percent, namely extraction: 10.8 percent, raw materials: 9.7 percent and processing: 6.3 percent). Also,  prices rose at softer pace for consumer goods (0.6 percent from 0.8 percent, namely food production: 0.4 percent, clothing: 0.7 percent and daily use goods: 1.7 percent). At the same time, prices of consumer durable goods were unchanged for the fifth month in a row. On a monthly basis, producer prices rose 0.5 percent, compared to a 0.7 percent gain in October.




Friday December 08 2017
China Trade Surplus Beats Estimates in November
Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus narrowed to USD 40.21 billion in November 2017 from USD 44.24 billion in the same month a year earlier but above market consensus of USD 35.0 billion. Exports rose 12.3 percent year-on-year to USD 217.37 billion, the most since March; while imports jumped 17.7 percent to USD 177.11 billion.

In November, exports  rose 12.3 percent from the previous year to USD 217.37 billion, beating market estimates of a 5.0 percent gain and following a 6.9 percent growth in the previous month. It was the fastest increase in outbound shipments in eight months, due to robust global demand.

Imports jumped 17.7 percent  year-on-year to USD 177.11 billion, faster than a 17.2 percent rise in a month earlier and above market expectations of a 11.3 percent growth. It marked the 13th straight month of annual growth in inbound shipments and the strongest since September, supported by higher demand on commodities. In order to boost puchases as the country turns to a more consumption-driven basis, policymakers announced tariff cuts recently. Meantime, state energy companies also increased purchases months ahead of the heating season that started mid-November. Crude oil imports rose to 37.04 million tonnes in November, or 9.01 million barrels per day, the second-largest in history. Also, imports of natural gas shipments jumped to a record high as purchases went up up in all areas.

Considering January to November 2017, the trade surplus came in at USD 380.24 billion, down from a USD 471.67 billion surplus in the same period the  preceding year. 
 
In yuan-denominated terms, exports increased by 10.3 percent from a year earlier in November, following a 6.1 percent rise in Octoberber. Purchases rose 15.6 percent, after a 15.9 percent in the prior month. 







Thursday November 09 2017
China Inflation Rate at 9-Month High of 1.9% in October
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer prices rose 1.9 percent year-on-year in October of 2017, after a 1.6 percent rise in September and slightly above market consensus of a 1.8 percent gain. It was the highest inflation rate since January, as cost of non-food increased further while cost of food fell much less than in a month earlier.

In October, the politically sensitive food prices declined by 0.4 percent (from -1.4 percent in the prior month) while non-food cost rose 2.4 percent (from 2.4 percent). Cost of consumer goods went up 1.1 percent (from 0.7 percent) and those of services increased by 3.2 percent (from 3.3 percent). 

Among food, prices dropped for: pork (-10.1 percent from -12.4 percent); tobacco (-0.1 percent from -0.1 percent) and fresh fruits (-0.7 percent from -3.0 percent). In contrast, prices rose for: fresh vegetables (0.3 percent from -1.0 percent); eggs (3.1 percent from 3.7 percent) and milk (0.3 percent from 0.4 percent). 

For non-food categories, prices increased at a faster pace for: transport and communication (0.8 percent from 0.5 percent); household goods and services (1.5 percent from 1.4 percent) and other goods and services (1.8 percent from 1.4 percent). Meantime, cost increased at a softer pace for healthcare (7.2 percent from 7.6 percent); while inflation was steady for: rent, fuel & utilities (2.8 percent) and education, culture & recreation (2.3 percent). 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.1 percent, after gaining 0.5 percent in a month earlier while market estimated a 0.2 percent rise. It was the lowest monthly figure since July.

The producer price index increased by 6.9 percent from a year earlier in October 2017, the same as in the previous month but above market estimates of a 6.6 percent gain. The figure marked the 14th straight month of gain in producer prices and remained the highest since March. Cost went up less for means of production (9.0 percent from 9.1 percent, namely extraction: 14.7 percent, raw materials: 11.6 percent and processing: 7.5 percent). Meantime, prices rose slightly more than in a month earlier for consumer goods (0.8 percent (from 0.7 percent, namely food production: 0.6 percent, clothing: 0.9 percent and daily use goods: 1.9 percent). At the same time, prices of consumer durable goods were unchanged for the fourth month in a row. On a monthly basis, producer prices rose 0.7 percent, compared to a 1.0 percent gain in September.


Wednesday November 08 2017
China October Trade Surplus Smaller than Expected
General Administration of Customs of China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus narrowed sharply to USD 38.17 billion in October 2017 from USD 48.42 billion in the same month a year earlier, and missing market consensus of USD 39.50 billion.

Imports jumped 17.2 percent from the previous year to USD 150.81 billion in October, beating market expectations of a 16 percent expansion but easing from 18.7 percent in September. It marked the twelfth straight month of annual growth in inbound shipments, boosted by higher purchases of crude oil, copper, iron ore, soybeans and coal. Oil imports rose from a year ago to 31.03 million tonnes, or 7.3 million barrels per day, but fell sharply from a near record-high of about 9 million barrels in September, touching their lowest level since October 2016. Also, imports of soybean rose 12 percent to 5.86 million tonnes from 5.21 million tonnes last year, but eased from a 12.7 percent gain in September. Compared with the previous month, imports of soybean fell 28 percent from 8.1 million tonnes due to a seasonal gap in overseas supply and as some shipments were delayed. The country's iron ore imports stood at 79.49 million tonnes compared with September's record high of 103 million tonnes, due to steel production cuts; and copper imports were 330,000 tonnes in October, versus 430,000 tonnes in September. Also, China imported 21.28 million tonnes of coal, down from 27.08 million tonnes in September, as the country tries to replace coal with cleaner fuel in the northern part of the country to meet tough air quality targets.

Exports rose 6.9 percent to USD 188.98 billion, below forecasts of 7.2 percent and slowing from September's 8.1 percent. 

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, came in at USD 26.6 billion after hitting a record high of USD 28.1 billion in September, as exports to the country rose 8.3 percent to USD 37.8 billion while imports grew 4.3 percent to USD 11.1 billion. Also, the trade surplus with the EU was USD 11.3 billion, with exports rising by 11.4 percent and imports by 25.3 percent; and that with ASEAN countries was USD 3.7 billion, as exports advanced 10.1 percent and imports 20.6 percent. Meanwhile, the biggest trade deficit was recorded with Taiwan (USD 10.4 billion, with exports increasing 6.5 percent and imports 13 percent), followed by South Korea (USD 7.0 billion, with exports increasing 4.8 percent and imports 16.9 percent), Australia (USD 4.2 billion, with exports increasing 14.8 percent and imports 24.6 percent) and Japan (USD 2.0 billion, with exports increasing 5.7 and imports 13.4 percent).

Considering January to October 2017, the trade surplus came in at USD 340.02 billion, down from a USD 427.42 billion surplus in the same period the preceding year. China's January-October trade surplus with the US was USD 222.98 billion.

In yuan-denominated terms, exports increased by 6.1 percent from a year earlier in October, following a 9 percent rise in September. Inbound shipments rose 15.9 percent, after growing 19.5 percent in the prior month. 



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.



Monday October 23 2017
China September Trade Surplus Smallest in 6 Months
Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus fell sharply to USD 28.61 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 18.6 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.