January's Trade Result Sparks Split Views


ANALYSTS are divided about China's trade in January as one of them forecasts a first drop in exports and imports since 2009, but the country's economic performance may be stable last month.

Lu Zhengwei, chief economist at the Industrial Bank, predicted last month's exports may drop 3.8 percent from a year earlier while imports may tumble 9.9 percent.

In December, exports grew 13.3 percent while imports rose 12.1 percent. But exports expanded at the slowest pace in 10 months as demand in the eurozone shrank.

Lu said seasonal factors such as the Lunar New Year in January may be to blame but "more decisively, a stronger yuan and the gloomy outlook of the European debt crisis caused Chinese exporters to suffer."

Tang Jianwei, an economist at the Bank of Communications, was more optimistic. He predicted China's exports to grow 6.7 percent and imports to rise 6.2 percent last month.

The General Administration of Customs will release the trade data on February 10.

Li Maoyu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co, expected January's Consumer Price Index to rise 4.1 percent, same as December's, a view shared by Lu and Tang.

But Li is confident inflation "will resume its downward trend in the following months and it is no longer a major concern for China's economy."

The National Bureau of Statistics will unveil the inflation data next Thursday.


2005-2011 www.researchinchina.com All Rights Reserved 京ICP备05069564号-1