China Surprises with Dec Trade Surplus Growth
China's trade surplus unexpectedly widened to $16.52 billion in December after import growth hit a two-year low, defying forecasts that the trade surplus would narrow, customs figures show. Exports were up 13.4% year on year to $174.72 billion while imports were up 11.8% to $15.82 billion last month. However, the trade surplus for 2011 shrank to $155.14 billion and the total value of China's bilateral trade jumped 22.5% to $3.64 trillion.

Aging China Needs ¥7t to Build 160m Retirement Homes

China will need seven million apartments to house retirees by the end of 2015 and up to 160 million such apartments between 2016 and 2020, according to a government report. Building the seven million apartments due 2015 will require ¥1.56 trillion and building 16 million apartments annually in the five years starting 2016 will require ¥5.62 trillion, the report estimates.

China's Box Office Grossing Breaks ¥13b
China's box office incomes grew 28.3% to ¥13.12 billion in 2011, according to the General Administration of Radio, Film and Television. There were 20 homegrown movies each fetching ¥100 million or more in the past year.

China Set to Become World's No 1 Oil Importer
China will overtake the US as the world's biggest petroleum importer in one and a half years, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) predicted. Separately, China imported 56.5% of its oil needs in 2011, up 1.7 percentage points from 2010.

China Caps Energy Consumption at 4b Tons of Coal by 2015

The Chinese government set the upper limit for the nation's total energy consumption from 2011 through 2015 at the equivalent of 4.1 billion tons of coal, according to a national energy meeting.

Textile Exports to Be Worth $300b by 2015

Output from China's textile industry will grow 5% to 8% annually to ¥6 trillion and the value of the industry's exports will grow 8% to 10% annually to $300 billion by the end of 2015, according to the China National Textile and Apparel Council.

$1 = ¥6.31

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