China Trade Gap Biggest Since ’89

Turmoil in Europe leaves China with $31.5 bln shortfall.

China had its largest trade deficit since at least 1989 last month as Europe’s sovereign-debt turmoil damped exports and imports rebounded after a weeklong holiday.

The shortfall was $31.5 billion, the customs bureau said yesterday. Imports rose 39.6 percent from a year earlier, after a 15.3 percent slump in January, while exports increased 18.4 percent, the bureau said. Data in the first two months are distorted by the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in January this year and February in 2011.

Seasonal Adjustments

The relatively fast nominal growth in trade resulted from the timing of the Lunar New Year, the customs bureau said. Including seasonal adjustments, exports in February rose 4 percent from a year earlier while imports gained 9.4 percent, it said.

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