China: Merchandise exports rise at a more moderate pace in April
Merchandise exports climbed 8.5% year-on-year in April, on the heels of March’s unexpected 14.8% upturn and slightly outpacing market expectations. April’s slowdown was likely partly linked to factories having worked through some of the post-Lunar-New-Year order backlogs. However, surging exports to Russia and rising vehicle sales supported the reading. Meanwhile, merchandise imports declined 7.9% over the same month last year in April (March: -1.4% yoy), contrasting market expectations of a flat reading.
As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 90.2 billion surplus in April (March 2023: USD 88.2 billion surplus; April 2022: USD 49.5 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed up, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 969.2 billion surplus in April, compared to the USD 928.5 billion surplus in March.