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China’s Trade Shows Healthy Growth, Really?
China’s trade in goods climbed 8.9% year-on-year to CNY 9.11 trillion (USD 1.43 trillion) in the first four months of this year, partly due to the upturn in the global economy and solid domestic demand, official data showed on Tuesday.
Exports rose 6.4% year-on-year to CNY 4.81 trillion between January and April, while imports grew 11.7% to CNY 4.3 trillion, according to the General Administration of Customs.
The robust trade performance can be attributed to the steady recovery of the global economy, and sustained domestic demand, said Huang Songping, spokesman for the General Administration of Customs.
China’s trade grew in a more balanced manner, as the nation has been stepping up efforts to boost its imports, Huang was quoted as saying by China Central Television on Tuesday.
The trade surplus stood at CNY 506.24 billion in the first four months, which narrowed by 24.1% from the same period a year ago, data showed.
“Looking ahead, China’s imports are likely to be further underpinned by further opening-up measures such as tariff reduction, and a slew of policies to stimulate domestic consumption,” said Cai Hao, head of macroeconomic study at the Research Institute of Hengfeng Bank.
After getting off to a strong start, China’s foreign trade volume is forecast to remain strong in 2018, according to a report recently released by the Ministry of Commerce.
The report said the expansion would be underpinned by the stable recovery of the world economy, and sustained demand in the domestic market as supply-side structural reform advances.
In spite of the positive outlook, the report pointed out several factors that weighed on trade are still present. These include a complex international political and economic environment, anti-globalization, and rising protectionism.
A World Trade Organization report also pointed out that there are signs that escalating trade tensions may already be affecting business confidence and investment decisions, which could compromise the current outlook.
“Sino-US trade talks will continue to have a significant impact on both bilateral and global trade, and good economic and trade relations between the world’s two largest economies are vital for continued economic growth and recovery”, Nie Wen, a macroeconomy analyst at HwaBao Trust, said in a research note.
China’s trade with economies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative was worth CNY 2.51 trillion in the first four months, an increase of 11.6% year-on-year, which was 2.7% points higher than the overall level.
In April, China’s trade registered growth climbed 7.2% year-on-year to CNY 2.36 trillion, with exports increasing 3.7% and imports growing 11.6%.
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