China's trade surplus remained high in January as exports rose 33% year-on-year to $86.62 billion boosted by seasonal holiday factors, official data showed Feb. 12. Imports reached $70.74 billion in January, up 27.5% over the same period 12 months earlier, the customs bureau said. Based on the data, the trade surplus stood at $15.88 billion, up 67.3% from $9.49 billion in January last year but down 24% from $21 billion recorded in December.
Analysts attributed the rise compared with the same period a year ago due to seasonal factors involving the Chinese Lunar New Year, which in 2007 falls in the month of February instead of January. "The Spring festival this year is in February and that's why both exports and imports have increased year-on-year," Sun Mingchun, chief economist at Lehman Brothers based in Hong Kong.
Sun added that January trade flows had traditionally always been a little weak, which explained why the figure in January 2007 was lower than in December.
Last year China's trade surplus soared to a record $177 billion , prompting Commerce Minister Bo Xilai to warn that China's mounting trade surpluses was becoming more problematic as time wore on.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007