Just a remark on Chinese External Trade

In May, the Chinese external trade balance was back to large surplus at USD 35.9bn. The rise in exports (+7% year on year) may be a good indication on world trade momentum. But the question on immediate outlook is not on exports but on imports. Chinese imports continue to shrink. This reflects a weak internal demand and a very limited impulse from China to the rest of the world, notably emerging and commodity producers’ countries.
To see the specificity of the current period, I’ve looked at imports and exports 3 month change from 20114 to 2014. Continue reading

Spain – On the Road to Growth

This post in pdf format: Spain – On the Road to Growth

Spanish GDP grew by 0.1 % in the third quarter (0.4 % at annual rate) according to the Bank of Spain advanced estimate. This is the first bounce, even modest, of the Spanish economy after eight quarters of contraction in its economic activity. Over a year, however this latter continues to shrink at the rate of -1.2 %. The carryover growth is -1.3 % for 2013 to the end of the third quarter (average growth for 2013 if the GDP level remains at Q3 level in Q4).

Spanish economic profile remains fragile. The second graph shows a rupture since 2008 and the difference with the pre-crisis trend is impressive. The third quarter figure just implies GDP stabilization at a low-level but it’s an important first step.

Spain-2013-Q3-GDP Continue reading

China: Trade deficit will be temporary

Chinese trade balance was negative in March. It was USD -0.8bn. It is not a surprise. As it can be seen on the first chart, and for the last three years trade balance is negative during the month following the Chinese New Year period. As activity is low during this specific period, imports are low too and there is a surge just after. This is a simple catch up effect.

Cumulated over a year the Chinese trade balance has a large and solid surplus of USD 280bn.

China-2013-March-tradeBal

Continue reading