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February 22, 2016

Global Economic Analysis and News of Note: Chinese Trade Drags Down Asia

  • In a report that was worse than anticipated, the Japanese government announced last week that its economy shrank at a 1.4 percent annualized rate in the last quarter of 2015. (Analysts had predicted a 0.8 percent contraction.) A decline in trade from a slowing Chinese economy weighed heavily on the reading. The growth rate for the third quarter was revised up to 1.3 percent, however, so the Japanese economy is not yet officially in recession.
  • In another report that was worse than anticipated, the Chinese government announced that imports to the country fell 14.4 percent between January 2015 and January 2016 (analysts had predicted a 1.8 percent increase) while exports from the country declined 6.6 percent year-over-year. (Analysts had predicted a 3.6 percent increase in exports.) According to Business Insider, “The weakness in the export side of the ledger suggests global growth, where the demand for China’s exports come from, may be weaker than currently thought.” Coal imports were down 9.2 percent year-over-year while crude oil imports fell 4.6 percent.