China Trade Surplus Hits An 18 Month High
The U.S. Customs bureau reported this week that China’s trade surplus hit an 18-month high in July as exports rose and import gains slowed, which added pressure on Chinese officials to allow faster appreciation of the yuan. According to a survey of 29 economists by Bloomberg News, the trade gap surged 170% from a year earlier to $28.7 billion. Exports advanced 38.1% to $145.5 billion, while imports increased only 22.7% to $116.8 billion.
July Chinese Imports into the US Still at High Levels. Hitting a 14-month high, Chinese steel imports into the US in July grew 21% from June (based on licenses), following June’s 35% increase, continuing to outpace overall imports into the country.
| The deficit on international trade in goods and services was $41.5 billion in June or 3.4 percent of GDP, According to Peter Morici.The trade deficit is a huge drag on economic recovery and jobs creation.In the second quarter overall, the imports grew so much more rapidly than exports that the growing trade gap subtracted 2.8 percent from growth.
But for the increase in the trade gap, GDP would have grown 5.2 percent instead of 2.4 percent. At that pace, unemployment would fall by 2013 to less than 5 percent, the level accomplished the two years prior to the Great Recession
The United States is doing too much buying but not enough selling.
Oil and consumer goods from China account for nearly the entire trade deficit, and without a dramatic change in energy and trade policies, the U.S. economy faces unemployment around 10 percent indefinitely.
To keep Chinese products artificially inexpensive on U.S. store shelves and discourage U.S. exports into China, Beijing undervalues the yuan by 40 percent. It accomplishes this by printing yuan and selling those for dollars to augment the private supply of yuan and private demand for dollars. In 2009, those purchases were about $450 billion or 10 percent of China’s GDP, and about 35 percent of its exports of goods and services.
This year,the trade deficit with China reduces U.S. GDP by more than $400 billion or nearly three percent. Unemployment would be falling and the U.S. economy recovering more rapidly, but for the trade imbalance with China and Beijing’s protectionist policies.
In June, China indicated it will adopt a more flexible exchange rate policy, but it has made clear Americans should not expect a dramatic change in the value of the yuan.
Wake up Washington. Its the China Currency and balance of trade. St*pid.
Comments from Peter Morici, various press reports, and our favorite Steel Analyst, Michelle Applebaum.