Burton Mills: Strong Trade Growth for China in January

Burton Mills: China to report strong trade figures for January after weak December data

Economists at Taipei, Taiwan-based Burton Mills say China is expected to report strong growth in last month’s trade this week, tempering inflation and growing bank lending. However, the timing of the Chinese New Year holidays will make determination of trends in the world’s second-largest economy more difficult for at least another month.

Recent surveys by Burton Mills indicate a positive start to 2018, with additional growth in services and expansion in manufacturing. But Burton Mills' economists anticipate a steady decrease in momentum over the next few months as borrowing costs increase and the housing market slows.

Over the next several weeks, China will release data on trade, inflation, bank lending and foreign exchange reserves but data for industrial output will not be released until March in an attempt to even out seasonal distortions.

Over the Lunar New Year holiday, many Chinese travel abroad and a large number of businesses close down for several weeks. During this time, Burton Mills analysts will be analyzing available data for indications on the state of domestic and global demand for Chinese goods.

China’s January exports expanded by almost 10 percent on a year-on-year basis and pointed to a positive start to 2018. Burton Mills' economists expect to see an increase in trade disputes between the U.S. and China during the course of this year.

China’s import data could attract more attention after a severe decline in December that fueled concerns of an economic slowdown. Burton Mills’ economists say that while import growth may have increased to almost 10 percent, some of the growth could be attributed to stockpiling ahead of the Lunar New Year rather than an increase in demand.

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Source: Burton Mills