Forget February’s Trade Figures

China’s trade deficit for February is an anomaly caused by the New Year holiday. This set of trade figures is even more meaningless for interpretation of a trend than a single month’s numbers usually are. If one looks at the trade figures for January and February combined, exports were up 21.3% and imports 36% on the same period a year earlier, compared with 17.9% and 25.6% in December. Rising commodity prices are inflating the export number, but the arc of the trend is for a gradually diminishing surplus on a rising volume of trade.

 

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