Chinese exports rise in January

Fastest increase since April 2011.

New Statesman
An automobile factory in China. Credit: Getty Images.

Exports in China grew strongly by 25 per cent in January 2013 compared to the same month a year ago, while imports grew by 28.8 per cent compared to a growth of 6 per cent in December.

Analysts caution that the rising figures came anhead of the Chinese New Year as companies tried to push their products as much as possible during the holiday season.

Inflation in the country slowed to 2 per cent in January 2013 compared to 2.5 per cent in December.

Zhu Haibin, an economist with JP Morgan, told the Financial Times: “So far what we have seen supports the view that China’s recovery is continuing. But it will be a modest recovery.”

Zhang Zhiwei, an economist with Nomura, told the Financial Times: “This strong export number cannot be fully explained by the Chinese New Year effect alone. These data suggest that external and domestic demand are both strong, which supports our view that the economy is on track for a cyclical recovery in the first half.”

China’s economy recovered mostly in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Raw material prices grew in recent months, while iron ore prices grew by 80 per cent since September.

The country’s trade surplus was $29.2bn in January compared to $31.6bn in December.

Inflation in China slowed to 2 per cent in January from 2.5 per cent in December. “The risk of high inflation will re-emerge in the second half of the year,” economists with ANZ said.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.8 per cent in trading on Friday.