The Chinese Trade Balance came out today showing a surplus of only +31.0B in September, which was lower than the +41.2B anticipated and significantly lower than the +49.8B result seen in August.

Nevertheless, Chinese exports rose +15.3 percent in September compared to one year ago, which beat estimates of a +11.8 percent rise and was notably higher than the August increase of +9.4 percent.

Imports were also significantly higher than forecast, increasing +7 percent versus an expected decline of -2.7%. The rise in crude oil and iron ore imports was a major factor in the decline in the trade surplus. Some analysts believe the sharp rise in imports was due to seasonal factors and merchants taking advantage of low commodity prices.

RenMinbi Yuan by MiLu24 via Wikimedia Commons

By MiLu24

The numbers indicate continued growth in the Chinese economy, due to increased demand for Chinese products from the United States as the economy there improves, although the sharp rise in imports is expected to be brief. The economy has been weighed down recently by the domestic housing market, which may force the PBOC to take more aggressive steps and perhaps even lower interest rates.

The Chinese trade data was positive news today for the Australian Dollar, the Japanese Yen and the New Zealand dollar, which all gained against other major currencies. Chinese third quarter GDP, Retail Sales for September, investment data and industrial output will all be released on the 21st.

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