China reported a March trade deficit Saturday that was significantly wider than expected, as a surge in imports outpaced exports and commodities prices rose, according to media reports.
March exports from China rose 24.3% to $112.11 billion, while imports jumped 66% to $119.35 billion, resulting in a $7.24 billion deficit, the state news agency Xinhua reported on its Web site.
A poll of 13 economists conducted by Dow Jones Newswires had estimated a March trade deficit of $280 million. The monthly trade deficit marks China’s first in nearly six years; the country reported an April deficit in 2004.
By comparison, China had a trade surplus of $14.2 billion in January of this year and of $7.6 billion in February, down from a high of $42.1 billion in January 2009.
Many analysts see the deficit as temporary and anticipate China will swing back to a trade surplus in the coming months.
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