China’s Exports Surge On Foreign Demand

China’s exports grew notably in July as most of the economies relaxed lockdown measures introduced to curb the coronavirus spread, data from the General Administration of Customs revealed Friday.

Driven by demand for medical supplies, electronics and automobiles, exports grew 7.2 percent on a yearly basis in July, confounding expectations for a drop of 0.2 percent.

At the same time, imports dropped 1.4 percent on year in contrast to a 1 percent rise economists’ had forecast.

As a result, the trade surplus totaled $62.33 billion. Economists had forecast the surplus to fall to $42 billion from June’s $46.42 billion surplus.

The trade balance will continue to support economic growth, Iris Pang, an ING economist, said.

But the jump in external demand in July may not last long because some Covid-19 clusters have emerged since late July, as caution was relaxed too early in some places, the economist added.

While exports are likely to level off in the coming months, a further ramp up in stimulus should continue to support the recovery in imports, Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

However, according to Purchasing Managers’ survey, released early this month, foreign demand for both manufacturing and services remained in negative territory in July. Respondents said the pandemic continued to hit other nations hard, dragging down overseas demand.

China’s private sector growth moderated in July reflecting weaker gains in services activity, survey from IHS Markit revealed on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the manufacturing output rose at the strongest pace since January 2011.

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