Exports in dollar terms grew 3.9 percent in April from a year earlier, compared to 14.7 percent growth in March.
China’s export growth slowed to single digits in April, while imports were flat as tighter and broader COVID-19 restrictions halted factory output, disrupted supply chains and caused a collapse in domestic demand.
Exports in dollar terms grew 3.9 percent in April from a year earlier, compared with 14.7 percent growth reported in March and slightly beating analysts’ forecast of 3.2 percent. The growth was the slowest since June 2020.
Imports were flat on a year-on-year basis last month, improving slightly from a 0.1 percent drop in March and slightly better than the 3.0 percent contraction in the Reuters poll.
China posted a trade surplus of $51.12 billion in the month, against a forecast for a surplus of $50.65 billion in the survey. The country reported a surplus of $47.38 billion in March.
Beijing’s efforts to curb the country’s biggest COVID-19 outbreaks in two years have clogged roads and ports, restricted activity in dozens of cities, including the Shanghai commercial hub, and forced companies from Apple supplier Foxconn even automakers Toyota and Volkswagen to suspend some operations. .
Factory activity was already contracting at a steeper pace in April, industry surveys showed, raising fears of a sharp economic slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, weighing on global growth.
Shi Xinyu, foreign trade manager at Yiwu, a commodity trading hub, said only 20 to 50 percent of stores are open due to COVID disruptions.
“[The weak import demand came amid] the down economic cycle and the COVID hit,” Shi said. “Life is hard enough already and we happen to have a leaky roof while it’s raining.”
In addition, rising risks from the Ukraine war, persistently weak consumer spending and a prolonged downturn in the housing market also weigh on growth, analysts say.
With the national jobless rate at nearly two years, officials promised more aid to bolster confidence and prevent further job losses in a politically sensitive year.
Some analysts are even warning of rising recession risks, saying policymakers need to provide more stimulus to hit an official 2022 growth target of around 5.5 percent unless Beijing eases its draconian policy against the pandemic.
However, there are few signs of that happening. The country’s top leaders said last week they would stick to their “zero-COVID” policy, fueling concerns of a deeper economic downturn.
AN sharply depreciated yuan probably boosted exports in April. The Chinese currency suffered its worst month in April in nearly two years as risks to the economy mount and touched a 1-1/2-year low.