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Economy in Brief

China's Surplus on Total Trade in Goods Down Sharply in February But Less So With the U.S.
by Louise Curley March 10, 2008

China's balance on trade in goods declined substantially in February to $8.6 billion from $19.5 billion in January. Both exports and imports declined; the former by 20% and the latter by 13%. The unadjusted figures are shown in the first chart. Part of the declines in exports and imports may have resulted from the extreme weather conditions which disrupted transportation. In addition, the variable occurrence of the Chinese New Year always introduces anomalies in Chinese statistics at the beginning of the year.

Haver Analytics adjusts the data for seasonal factors and the occurrence of the Chinese New Year. These adjusted data are shown in the second chart. Even with seasonal adjustment, the decline in the balance of trade remains significant. The seasonally adjusted exports show a decline, the seasonally adjusted imports show a substantial rise.

While the total trade balance shows a decline of over 50% for both the seasonally adjusted and the non adjusted data for February, the balance of trade with the U. S. showed a smaller decline of about 20% for the seasonally adjusted and unadjusted. On a seasonally adjusted basis Chinese exports to the U.S. were still positive. The third chart compares the Chinese balance of trade with the U.S. on a seasonally adjusted and an unadjusted basis. Finally the fourth chart compares the total Chinese surplus on trade with the surplus on trade with the U. S.

CHINA TRADE DATA (Mil. US%)  Feb 08 Jan 08  Feb 07  M/M %Chg  Y/Y %Chg  2006 2005 2004
Total Exports (NSA) 87368 109655 82020 -20.32 6.52 1218020 968935 461953
Imports (NSA)                      78813 90174 58336 -12.60 35.02 955821 791461 659953
Balance (NSA) 8555 19480 23694 -56.07 63.89 262200 177474 102000
Exports (SA)  113616 116995 101012 -289 12.48 1218020 968935 461953
Imports (SA)             101525 92259 73790 10.05 37.59 955821 791461 659953
Balance (SA) 12091 24741 27222 -51.03 -55.58 262200 177474 102000
Exports to US Domestic (NSA)                 15478 19162 16336 -19.22 -5.25 232761 203512 162937
Imports from US (NSA) 6053 7068 4095 -14.36 47.81 69861 59223 48735
Balance (NSA)      9425 12094 12241 -22.07 -23.06 162900 144289 114202
Exports to US Domestic (SA)          20599 19780 19888 4.14 3.58 232761 203512 162937
Imports from US (SA)        8185 7085 5113 15.55 60.09 69861 59223 48735
Balance (SA)  12414 15695 14776 -20.90 -15.99 162900 144289 114202
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