China Exports Growth Tops Expectations In May

June 15, 2022

China’s exports logged a double-digit growth in May as operations resumed in the Shanghai port after coronavirus-linked lockdowns, official data showed on Thursday.

Exports advanced 16.9 percent from a year ago, following a 3.9 percent rise in April, the General Administration of Customs said. The pace of growth far exceeded the 8.0 percent expansion forecast by economists.

At the same time, imports grew 4.1 percent annually after remaining flat in the previous month. Economists had forecast an annual increase of 2.0 percent.

As a result, the trade surplus rose sharply to $78.7 billion in May from $51.1 billion a year ago. The expected level was $58.0 billion.

The recovery in trade can continue if there are no further lockdowns, Iris Pang, an ING economist, said. Tariffs will be a talking point again, but changes probably will not happen soon.

The economist noted that even without the removal of tariffs, if global demand continues to be as strong as it has been since 2021, China’s exports should maintain an average annual growth rate of 15 percent, at least through the third quarter of 2022.

According to the latest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development forecast, China’s GDP growth will slip to 4.4 percent this year as strict lockdowns in key economic centers such as Shanghai and Beijing dampened growth at the start of the year.

Nonetheless, GDP is forecast to rebound to 4.9 percent in 2023. The OECD said China’s exports will remain relatively strong as companies continue to raise their market shares.

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