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China’s Exports Rise Most Since 2018 as Year-End Demand Surges

Economic IndicatorsDec 07, 2020 04:36
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© Reuters.

(Bloomberg) -- China’s exports jumped in November by the most since February 2018 on the back of a recovery in global demand, while growth in imports held up.

  • Exports rose 21.1% in dollar terms in November from a year earlier, while imports gained 4.5%, the customs administration said Monday. That left a trade surplus of $75.4 billion for the month, which was the largest on record in data back to at least 1990. Economists had forecast that exports would increase by 12% while imports would grow by 7%.

Key Insights

  • China’s solid trade figures and the recovery in domestic consumption points to an economic rebound that remained on track in November
  • Global demand had started recovering before the latest resurgence in virus cases in some of China’s biggest markets, including the U.S. and Europe. South Korea’s exports, a bellwether for global trade, strengthened in November, while China’s latest purchasing managers’ index showed a pick-up in new export orders
  • The new virus waves in Europe, the U.K. and elsewhere may further fuel demand for China’s exports of personal protective gear and work-from-home devices, a key driver of export growth so far
  • However, it could also curb global growth and weigh on exports as restrictions are tightened again. “The new lockdown in Europe may bring downward pressures to external demand over time,” UBS Group AG (SIX:UBSG) economists led by Ning Zhang wrote in a note before the data release
  • As the year-end approaches, China needs to ramp up its imports from the U.S. to meet the terms of the phase-one trade deal, but the latest data showed that China is nowhere near meeting the target. U.S. president-elect Joe Biden recently said that he wouldn’t quickly remove tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and will consult allies before developing a China strategy

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

China’s Exports Rise Most Since 2018 as Year-End Demand Surges
 

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