Trade deficit rises to $7.3 billion in February

14:36, March 10, 2011      

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Chinas General Administration of Customs reported that the country posted a $7.3 billion trade deficit in February, as exports growth fell far behind imports in the month.

Impacted by the domestic buying spree as Chinese families took a seven-day Spring Festival holidays, imports gained 19.4 percent year-on-year to reach $104 billion, while exports rose a paltry 2.4 percent at $96.74 billion.

Trade deficit in February hit $7.3 billion, the highest in more than three years, data say. In January, China achieved a trade surplus of $6.45 billion.

According to the administration, the biggest items the country imported in the first two months this year include iron ores, soy beans, meats and luxury cars.

Analysts have cautioned against reading too much into Februarys figures, saying that China was likely to return to a trade surplus soon, and the deficit will be short-lived.

However, some analysts believe that China's rising production cost, resulting from rising labor wages and raw material prices, domestic inflationary pressure and a gradually strengthening Renminbi currency, have more or less affected on its export competitiveness.

Commerce Minister Chen Deming said on Monday in Beijing that China will register a smaller trade surplus in 2011, as the government is trying to balance its imports and exports.

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