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China: Exports contract again in April

May 8, 2015

In April, exports fell 6.4% over the same month last year, which followed the 15.0% decline tallied in March. April’s drop contrasted the 1.6% increase that market analysts had expected and represented the second consecutive decline. Imports fell 16.2% annually in April, which was below the 12.7% decline tallied in March. The print exceeded the 12.2% drop that market analysts had expected and represented the sixth consecutive contraction.

As a result of the sharp drop in imports, the trade surplus widened to USD 34.1 billion in April (March: USD 3.1 billion) from USD 18.7 billion in the same month last year. The 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus rose from USD 488 billion in March to USD 503 billion in April, which marks an all-time high.

The government expects total merchandise trade to expand 6.0% this year. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that merchandise exports will grow 6.7% in 2015, while imports will expand 5.2%, thus driving the trade balance to record a surplus of USD 425 billion. For 2016, the panel expects exports to increase 5.6% and imports to rise 6.1%, while the trade surplus will widen to USD 451 billion.


Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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China Trade Chart


China Trade12m April 2015

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China and FocusEconomics calculations.


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