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            october 14, 2019

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China posts first trade deficit in 3 years as imports soar 38pc


China suffered a trade deficit of US$9.15 billion in February - the first since February 2014 - as imports skyrocketed 38.1 per cent year on year, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. This compared to a trade surplus of $51.35 billion in January.
Exports slid by 1.3 per cent from a year earlier in February against a 7.9 per cent increase in exports in January and a 16.7 per cent rise in imports.
Analysts cautioned that data in January and February can be distorted by the week-long Lunar New Year public holidays, with business slowing down ahead of time and many firms scaling back operations or closing. The holiday fell on January 28 this year, 11 days earlier than last year.
"We suspect that this largely reflects the boost to import values from the recent jump in commodity price inflation, but it also suggests that domestic demand remains resilient," Julian Evans-Pritchard at Capital Economics was cited as stating in a note, reported CNBC with Reuters.
"Looking ahead, we expect external demand to remain fairly strong during the coming quarters which should continue to support exports."
China's shipments to the US were up 11.5 per cent year on year in February in yuan terms, while its imports from the US grew by 41 per cent.

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