Wednesday, May 11, 2011

China's record exports, sluggish domestic demand

Exports to China reached a new record in April. They totaled $ 155.7 billion, surpassing the performance of 154.1 billion dollars from December, according to customs. These exports, up 29.9% year on year, helped the world's leading exporter to reach a comfortable trade surplus: $ 11.4 billion last month.

Ken Peng, economist at Citigroup, is the result of "lower imports due to lower prices of raw materials and slowing demand in China." Imports also rose indeed, but only 21.8% to 144.3 billion dollars. According to the analyst, we can expect a even larger surplus in May. For its part, Alistair Thornton, an economist at IHS Global Insight believes that the reappearance of a trade surplus in the second world economy is "more due to a deceleration of the Chinese economy and a strong global demand, which shows the much slower growth in imports - which reflect domestic demand.

" Domestic demand that punishment should therefore be taken over, despite the wishes of the executive: in the 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015) adopted in March, the government says it wants to make China less dependent on exports and more domestic demand. The large trade surpluses of China in fact contribute to the massive accumulation of foreign reserves by Beijing and fuel inflation, which accelerated in recent months.

The Chinese trade figures are released while being held in the U.S. capital and economic strategic dialogue between China and the United States, which called for a rebalancing of their relationship with Beijing. Washington continues to insist on a revaluation of the yuan, arguing that the weakness of its exchange rate fixed daily by the Chinese central bank, gives an unfair competitive advantage to Chinese exporters.

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