In a severe display of the weak demand undermining the containerized ocean freight industry, the latest data from Xeneta reveals carriers blanked more than six times the number of sailings on the main Asia to US West Coast corridor leading up to Chinese New Year as they did in the equivalent period of 2019, just before the global ´pandemic.
A SARS-like virus that has spread across China and reached three other Asian nations is contagious between humans, a government expert said, and the World Health Organization announced that a key emergency committee would meet this week to discuss the infections. The news came as Wuhan health authorities reported on Tuesday that a fourth person had died of the coronavirus.
The boom in Chinese outbound travel is set to keep on going, according to data from ForwardKeys, which helps forecast future travel by analyzing around 17 million flight booking transactions a day.
Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan has accused speculative forces of targeting the country's currency, the Yuan, and argued there was no reason for the Yuan to keep depreciating in value and that China would not let international speculators dominate market sentiment.
China's inflation rate remained subdued in January, despite rising food prices during the New Year celebrations. Consumer prices held steady at 2.5% from a year earlier, which was slightly higher than many economists expected.
China's trade surplus jumped to 31.9bn dollars in January, easing concerns the world's second-largest economy may be stuck in a slowdown. The figure was up 14% from a year earlier and stronger than forecasts for a 23.7bn surplus.
China's exports fell in January the first decline in more than two years, raising fresh concerns about the impact of a global slowdown on its economy. Exports dipped 0.5% from a year earlier hurt by sluggish demand and factories being shut during the Lunar New Year.
China has seen an improvement in a key measure of manufacturing, boosting optimism that steady economic growth will continue into 2012. The purchasing managers' index rose to 50.3 in December from 49 in November, the statistical office said. A reading of more than 50 shows expansion.