China 2014 exports rise 6.1%, imports up 0.4%

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China’s exports rose 6.1 percent year on year in 2014, while imports increased 0.4 percent, customs data revealed on Tuesday.

Last year, the country’s total exports and imports value increased 3.4 percent year on year.

Subdued price levels point to more policy easing

China’s consumer inflation remained weak in December while price declines at the factory gate level continued to deepen, suggesting weakness in the world’s second-largest economy but will create space for policy makers to take easing measures.

Growth in the consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, rebounded to 1.5 percent in December from November’s 1.4 percent, its slowest increase since November 2009, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.

On a monthly basis, December’s CPI edged up 0.3 percent against the previous month, reversing the downward trend experienced since September.

This small pick-up in December’s consumer inflation was mostly driven by food prices, said Chang Jian, Barclays chief China economist.

Food prices, which account for about one-third of the CPI calculation’s weighting, rose 2.9 percent from a year ago in December, compared to 2.3 percent the previous month.

Growth in non-food prices, however, fell to a 56-month low of 0.8 percent, led by falling transportation and housing costs, Chang said.

China’s consumer prices grew 2 percent in 2014 from one year earlier, well below the government’s 3.5 percent target set for the year. It was also below the 2.6 percent growth registered in 2013.

Producer price index (PPI) slumped 3.3 percent in December from one year earlier, the sharpest fall in more than two years, and the decline deepened from November’s 2.7 percent fall.

Tumbling oil and other commodity prices have extended the run of producer-price declines to a record 34 months.

PPI fell 1.9 percent year on year in 2014.

The easing inflationary pressure will give the central bank more room to initiate measures to support growth.

In November, the central bank cut benchmark interest rates for the first time since the summer of 2012. Analysts are divided over whether more rate cuts would follow in the coming months as the 2014’s growth figures are likely to register its slowest pace in more than a decade.

Chang forecast two additional cuts in benchmark interest rates, by 25 basis points each time, in the first half of this year, as well as three cuts in the reserve requirement ratio (RRR), by 50 basis points each time, throughout the year.

Liu Liu, analyst of China International Capital Corp., expects the central bank to cut interest rates once and lower RRR four times this year likely in the first half.

However, Liu Ligang, chief Greater China economist at ANZ Banking Group., said the central bank appeared to be reluctant to cut RRR to counter falling prices and economic slowdown.

The Chinese government should use both structural reform measures and monetary policy tools to head off the risk of deflation, especially when domestic demand remains weak and commodity and energy prices continue to fall, Liu Ligang wrote in a report to clients.

Final figures for last year’s gross domestic product (GDP) are slated for released on Jan 20.

 

Source : China Daily | January 13, 2015

Thomas D’Innocenzi

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About thomasdinnocenzi

Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. http://www.NovaAdvisors.com thomas@NovaAdvisors.com USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
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