Asia Economy
China reported trade deficit in February -- impacted by Lunar New Year timing
By Finfacts Team
Mar 10, 2014 - 8:54 AM

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A market in Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei province, March 09, 2014.

China posted a slide in exports and a $22.98bn deficit in February in a report issued on Saturday, fanning worries about the world's No. 2 economy. However, the Lunar New Year holidays in China involving a huge movement of migrant factory workers impacts activity longer than the official holiday week at the start of the month. Some workers do not return while others arrive late.

Exports dropped 18.1% from a year ago and followed a strong 10.6% rise in January and it was the first year on year export decline since September 2013. Imports rose 10.1% over a year ago, after a 10% gain in January. The trade deficit was the biggest since February 2012 when it hit $31.5bn.

"I was expecting weak results for February as manufacturers pulled exports forward ahead of the New Year holiday," Andrew Polk, economist at the Conference Board told The Wall Street Journal. "But I definitely wasn't expecting (export) results that were this bad."

China’s exports fell by only 1.6% in the first two months compared with the same period a year earlier while imports in the first two months rose by 10% from a year earlier.

China's consumer price index (CPI) increased 2% year on year in February, marking easing inflationary pressure since the end of last year, official data showed on Sunday.

The growth rate was down from 2.5% in the previous month and appeared to be the lowest level since February 2013, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

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