World News

China exports surge past expectations in March, imports slump

China exports surge past expectations in March, imports slump

Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a slight 0.2 per cent rise in imports with exports projected to grow 6.5 per cent.

Imports fell by 7.6% in March compared to a year earlier, worse than City economists' forecasts for the volume of goods bought from overseas to grow by 0.2%.

Imports dropped 7.6 percent annually in March, following a 5.2 percent fall in the previous month.

Customs data on Friday showed exports rose 14.2% over a year ago to $198.7 billion, recovering from February's 20.8% contraction.

"Overall China-US economic and trade frictions have had a definite impact on business operations but we believe it's generally controllable", he told reporters.

"Exports have yet to completely recuperate from a sharp downturn late last season", said Julians Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report.

That left the country with a trade surplus of $32.64 billion for the month, according to Reuters calculations based on the official data, much larger than forecasts of $7.05 billion.

More news: Redmi Y3 to come with 32-megapixels selfie camera

At the opening of China's National People's Congress in March, China's premier Li Keqiang said the Chinese economy will likely slow this year, forecasting economic growth target for this year to be between 6.0% and 6.5%.

However, imports fell more than expected, suggesting its domestic demand remains weak.

China's trade surplus with the United States, a major source of frustration for Washington, rose almost 40 per cent in March from February to $20.5 billion and hit $62.66 billion in the first quarter.

A customs spokesman said he expects mild growth in both exports and imports in the current quarter.

China has been broadly affected by the weakened trade earlier due to the United States (US)-Sino trade conflict but trade progress between the two parties in recent weeks have cooled the bearishness on the ground.

On Wednesday, news agencies reported that China and the U.S. have agreed to set up enforcement offices to monitor the implementation of trade pledges, reflecting concrete steps taken between both parties to getting a trade deal sorted out.

However, the import data will be a cause for concern in Beijing, coming a day after new inflation data showed a spike in consumer prices.