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Trade Figures Out Tomorrow, New Export Order Bounce Contrasts With Official Rhetoric


While the focus remains on China's NPC, note that tomorrow Feb trade figures are due. This data will be in YTD Y/Y terms, as it covers the Jan-Feb period to account for the China LNY. The next read in y/y terms will not be out until April.

  • For exports, the market forecast is -9.0% YTD Y/Y (range of estimates is -12% to +2%). For imports the same metric is expected to print at -5.5% (range of estimates -8.7% to +2%). The trade balance is forecast at $81.75bn YTD.
  • The tone from China officials has been generally warning of external headwinds in terms of the growth backdrop. The Ministry of Commerce noted late last week that pressure on foreign trade has increased markedly. It is also willing to have candid talks with the US to reduce trade and investment restrictions (see this link for more details).
  • Last week's PMI data hinted at an improved export outlook though, with a strong bounce in export orders. The chart below overlays the export orders from the manufacturing PMI (in y/y change terms) against y/y export growth.

Fig 1: China Export Growth & New Export Orders (Manufacturing PMI)

Source: MNI - Market News/Bloomberg

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