China sees better-than-expected trade performance in January 2018

Imports and Exports | 9 February 2018

China's imports and exports saw higher-than-expected growth during January 2018.


China has reported a strong international trade performance for January 2018, with imports and exports both growing more than expected.

Data from the General Administration of Customs revealed that exports in January rose 11.1 percent year-on-year, up from a 10.9 per cent gain in December, and exceeding analysts; predictions of a 9.6 per cent increase.

Imports, meanwhile, surged by 36.9 per cent, which was significantly ahead of economists' predictions of 9.8 per cent, and represented the fastest pace of growth since last February. This alleviated concerns about a potential slump in domestic demand, following an import growth slowdown in December.

This strong performance, combined with recent strong manufacturing and service surveys, offers an indication that China's economy remains in a resilient state and may even be gathering momentum, despite recent reforms on pollution and business financing laws.

Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics, said: "January trade data may be affected by the always-changing timing of the Chinese New Year holiday… [but] such strong import data indicates that domestic demand momentum remains healthy going into 2018."