09 May 2024, 11:39

China trade beats expectations in April

 BEIJING, May 9, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Chinese exports returned to growth last month while imports smashed expectations, data showed Thursday, providing a much-needed boost to the country's leadership as it tries to steer the economy out of a long-running slump.

Overseas shipments expanded 1.5 percent on-year in April, slightly beating forecasts in a Bloomberg survey and a strong turnaround after a shock 7.5 percent plunge in March.

Meanwhile, imports surged 8.4 percent, far better than the 4.7 percent estimated in the Bloomberg survey, providing hopes that demand in the world's number two economy could be improving.

The figures from Beijing's General Administration of Customs (GAC) come as authorities struggle to spur an economic recovery that has sputtered since the country emerged from stringent Covid control measures in late 2022.

China continues to fight a crisis in its debt-ridden property market, with home prices sliding in recent months, while retail sales have been hit by poor domestic demand.

A global slowdown is also weakening demand for the country's products overseas.

But Zhiwei Zhang, President and Chief Economist at Pinpoint Asset Management said "weak domestic demand led to deflationary pressure, which boosts China's export competitiveness".

"This is actually good news for the global economy given the inflation pressure many central banks are fighting against," he said.

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