Q1 Trade & GDP

Related entries: Economy, General, Investment, News, Trading

Stats are still on an upward trend…notwithstanding the stock market’s latest wobble.

Foreign trade hit US$457.74 in Q1, according to People’s Daily:

    “According to China Customs, the total value of China’s foreign trade was US$457.74 billion in the first quarter of this year, up 23.3% from last year. Export was valued at US$252.09 billion, up 27.8%; import was valued at US$205.65 billion, up 18.2 percent.”

GDP Growth for the period was 11.1 percent on a year earlier, higher than expected (or wanted). More cooling measures may therefore be expected. JP Morgan is said to have raised its forecast for the year to 10.8 percent, up from 10 percent, while Standard Chartered raised its estimate to 10.6 percent, up from 9.7 percent. (Other recent estimates are noted here). Bloomberg reports:

    “Growth accelerated from 10.4 percent in the previous quarter, the statistics bureau said in Beijing today. China’s benchmark stock index fell 4.7 percent before the release, triggering declines in Asian and European shares, on speculation borrowing costs will rise.

    Premier Wen Jiabao said the government will take steps to curb lending and investment in factories and property and rein in the record trade surplus. Inflation accelerated to 3.3 percent, the fastest pace in more than two years, and breached the central bank’s 3 percent target for the year.”

The consumer price index rose 2.7 percent, year-on-year in Q1 (and 3.3 percent in March), according to Forbes, while retail sales of consumer goods grew by 14.9 percent.

As the heat is rising, the markets are falling again (by 5 percent according to today’s FT). A bumpy ride ahead perhaps but, as the FT also notes:

    “Even after Thursday’s correction the market is still up nearly 40 per cent so far this year, after rising more than 130 per cent last year.”

A timely reminder of the speed at which things can change in China, and of the need to see such changes in context.

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