Growth or Fake Trading

“China’s exports jumped 10.6% Y/Y in January (expected 1%) and imports rose 10% Y/Y (expected 4%). Chinese New Year normally hurts exports much more than imports since it takes millions of workers to produce the exports, but only thousands to unload arriving ships. Since some factories shut for Chinese New Year in mid January, the export numbers look a bit suspicious.” (Carnegie)

“China exports 10.6% yoy in January, vs. consensus 0.6% – imports 10% yoy, vs. consensus 4.0% – data available so far do not provide clear indication of over-reporting by exporters as key driver of much stronger-than-expected growth. (i) This is surprising given the sequential moderation in global demand, as indicated by the GS GLI, Korea’s trade data, and likely mild downward bias from the Chinese New Year. (ii) HK and ASEAN countries were relatively weak compared with exports to the US and the EU, the opposite to what we typically observe when over-reporting is serious. (iii) Although imports data was not quite as strong as exports data, its strength is also surprising given the clear weakening of domestic demand growth in recent months.” (Goldman Sachs)

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