August 15, 2016

Global Economic Analysis and News of Note: China’s Trade Surplus Soars

  • In a reading that was worse than expected, the Chinese government said the value of its exports declined 4.4 percent in July while the value of its imports dropped 12.5 percent. Analysts called the trade report “a possible sign of weakness in the world's second-largest economy.” The nation’s overall global trade surplus was up 22 percent from July 2015 to July 2016. China’s July’s surplus with the United States came in at $24.7 billion.
  • Manufacturing production in France was down 1.2 percent in June while oil refining declined by 12.4 percent, the largest drop in the nation’s history. Overall, industrial output in France was down 0.8 percent in June. Analysts called the decline “alarming.”
  • Industrial output in Germany, meanwhile, rose 0.8 percent in June. Manufacturing production increased 1.5 percent, but construction output was down 0.5 percent. Despite June’s positive reading, overall German output declined one percent in the second quarter of 2016.
  • The Chinese auto market grew 26 percent from July 2015 to July 2016, its fastest expansion since January 2013. Analysts attributed the phenomenal rise to the fact that policymakers cut the purchase tax on small engine vehicles last October.