China exports were supposed to be up 7.5%. Instead, they tanked 18% in the biggest miss on record, leading to laughable explanations similar to those given here. For example, US, prognosticators said bad housing numbers were due to the weather, ignoring their own data which showed housing in January strong in the Northeast and weak in California. Drat those pesky facts. Similarly, Chinese forecasters said this epic miss was due to confusion over the Lunar New Year. This prompted Zero Hedge to say “but didn’t the 45 economists who forecast this data know the dates before they forecast.” Indeed.
This is a 6-sigma miss and plunges China’s trade balance to its biggest miss on record and 2nd largest deficit on record.