Monday, 11 April 2011

Japan's machinery orders fall, China's trade balance returns to surplus

Data released on Monday showed that Japan's machinery orders had been weak even before the earthquake struck one month ago. From AFP/CNA:

Japan's core private-sector machinery orders, a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, fell by more than expected in the month before a massive earthquake, data showed on Monday.

Core machinery orders fell 2.3 per cent from a month earlier in February, with the bigger-than-expected fall during pre-quake conditions raising concerns about the severity of the March 11 quake's impact in the months to come.

China, though, reported a return to a trade surplus in March. AFP/CNA reports:

China said Sunday it had returned to a trade surplus in March after the world's number two economy posted its first trade deficit in nearly a year in February.

Customs data showed a trade surplus of $140 million in March after February's deficit of $7.3 billion -- the country's first since March 2010.

Exports in March rose 35.8 per cent from the same month a year earlier, up from February's 2.4 per cent rise.

Imports rose 27.3 per cent, up from 19.4 per cent in February.

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