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First quarterly deficit in seven years

[ 2011-04-11 11:13]     字号 [] [] []  
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China reported its first quarterly trade deficit in seven years, but analysts said it will not be repeated in the coming months as tighter monetary policies, introduced to combat inflation, slow import growth.

China registered a deficit of $1.02 billion in the first quarter, compared with a surplus of $13.9 billion last year, according to the General Administration of Customs.

This is the first deficit since the first quarter of 2004 when a deficit of $8 billion was reported.

Analysts predicted a trade surplus in the second quarter that will gradually increase during the year, leading to renewed international pressure for currency appreciation.

The deficit was chiefly attributed to efforts to promote imports and the soaring prices of key imported commodities, said Zhang Yansheng, director of the Institute for International Economics Research under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

"Reduced export growth, due to the rising costs of labor, land and oil, along with yuan appreciation and rising interest rates also contributed (to the deficit)," he added.

China's imports surged by 32.6 percent to $400.66 billion during the first quarter, while exports rose by 26.5 percent to $399.64 billion, customs said.

A small surplus of $140 million was reported in March, with exports surging by 35.8 percent and imports by 27.3 percent year-on-year. This contrasted to a monthly deficit of $7.3 billion in February, the first since March 2010.

The monthly trade surplus reached a record high in the latter half of last year and since then China has focused on increasing imports to balance trade and alleviate pressure to boost the yuan's value.


1. How much was China’s deficit?

2. How much was the deficit in 2004?

3. China’s imports surged by what percentage point in the first quarter?


1. $1.02 billion.

2. $8 billion.

3. 32.6 percent..


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

First quarterly deficit in seven years

About the broadcaster:

First quarterly deficit in seven years

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.