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LGT Navigator: Chinese trade volume continues to grow

October 13, 2020

In September, Chinese exports recovered for the fourth consecutive month, and imports are unexpectedly still growing at a rapid pace, indicating a continued recovery of the global economy and a stable upturn in Chinese demand. The figures suggest that the country was in a position to re-utilize its capacity relatively quickly when the other countries reopened after the coronavirus lockdown.

Chinese trade volume continues to grow

The sharp rise of +13.2% in the import figures of the world's second largest economy indicates that Chinese domestic demand continues to have a certain base. At the same time, China was in a good position to be the first to quickly boost its export economy, as other export nations were still suffering from the corona measures. It is possible that China was thus able to further expand its market share as a global supplier.

Meanwhile, the Chinese stock market has exceeded the USD 10trn valuation threshold for the first time since 2015 (for comparison: USA USD 38.3trn, Japan USD 6.2trn) and is thus again close to its all-time high. The stock market also recovered due to optimism that the government will transform the Shenzhen region into a global technology center.

G20 to discuss recovery plan

The finance ministers of the G20 countries and central bank governors will hold a virtual meeting on Wednesday under the Saudi presidency. The aim is to discuss measures for a rapid and sustainable economic recovery, according to the Saudi government news agency. The gathering will also discuss updates and the extension of the G20 action plan to support the global economy during the coronavirus pandemic as well as progress on the G20 initiative to suspend debt service payments.

Hard times for seasonal workers in the US

When government measures against the coronavirus severely slowed down the US labor market last spring, there was hope for a rapid return to normality. It is now clear that this has not happened. The Christmas season, which is strong in terms of retail sales, is drawing nearer and apparently there is great reluctance to hire new seasonal workers and the labor market is developing differently than usual in the pre-Christmas period. The number of seasonal jobs is around 11% lower than in the previous year. There are probably many reasons for this: concerns about future sales trends, reduced capacities, store closures and continuing interruptions in supply chains are currently placing the labor market under pressure. The manufacturing industry is less affected by this and e-commerce has exploded this year anyway due to changes in consumer behavior: While the share of seasonal jobs at sales outlets has shrunk from 18% to 10%, temporary jobs in “load and stock” have tripled to 14%.



Economic Indicators October 13

MEZ Country Indicator Last
08:00 UK Unemployment Rate (September) 4.1%
11:00 GE ZEW Expectations index (October) 77.4
11:00 GE ZEW Current Situation index (October) -66.2
11:00 EZ ZEW Expectations index (October) 73.9
14:30 US Consumer Prices (September, m/m) +0.4%
14:30 US Consumer Prices (September, y/y) +1.3%
14:30 US Core Consumer Prices (September, y/y) +1.7%

Earnings Calendar October 13

Country Corporate Period
US JPMorgan Chase Q3
US Citigroup Q3
US Johnson & Johnson Q3


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Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.

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