China: A temporary or a durable boost?

3 min
Mahamoud Islam
Mahamoud Islam Senior Economist for Asia

USD-denominated exports rose by +9.1% y/y in January (after a -4.4% decline in December) mainly driven by demand from the EU (+15.3%) and ASEAN (+12.5%). USD-denominated imports continued to contract but at a slower pace (-1.5% y/y after -7.6% in December) as imports from the EU recovered (+8.2% y/y) and demand for ASEAN goods decreased more moderately. Meanwhile, credit figures surprised on the upside, with strong growth of aggregate credit flows in January (+RMB4.6tn, after +RMB1.6tn in December). In other news, price figures revealed disappointing producer prices (+0.1% y/y in January) raising deflation fears. Looking ahead, we believe that these data should be interpreted with caution as they have been probably distorted by the Chinese New Year holidays. We cautiously maintain our GDP growth forecast for this year at +6.3% (after +6.6% in 2018).