Chinese Trade Surplus in July Down by 4%
Chinese exports of manufactures in July, compared with 2014, were down 8% to $187 billion, imports were down by 6% to $101 billion, and the trade surplus was down by 4% to $486 billion. This was the first decline in the surplus in years, although the 4% was only half the 8% decline of exports, which was the only figure officially announced and reported in the press. (MAPI just received the full set of trade statistics from Hong Kong.) But this deficit decline could mark the beginning of a trend, unless China turns even more mercantilist to salvage its sagging, export-oriented manufacturing sector. The July U.S. trade figures will be out in about 10 days, and they should be influenced since 60% of the U.S. global trade deficit in manufactures is with China.
These July trade figures raise the broader question of what will happen in the months ahead. The MAPI second quarter report on U.S. and Chinese trade in manufactures showed an increase in the Chinese surplus of 6% to $253 billion and a rise in the U.S. deficit by 15% to $158 billion. Look forward to the revealing results in the third and fourth quarter MAPI reports.