China’s exports grew 8.5%, continuing its growth streak at a slower pace

QINGDAO, CHINA – MAY 06: Aerial view of illuminated Qingdao Qianwan Container Terminal at dusk on May 6, 2023 in Qingdao, Shandong province of China.

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China’s exports rose 8.5% in April in US dollars, marking a second consecutive month of growth, while imports fell 7.9% from a year ago.

Economists polled by Reuters estimated exports would rise 8% in April, while imports were expected to remain unchanged. In March, imports fell 1.4% year-on-year while exports recorded a surprise jump of 14.8%, according to government data.

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China’s trade surplus hit $90.21 billion in April from $88.2 billion in March.

Weaker trade data in April will likely reflect “residual seasonality” after this year’s Lunar New Year, Goldman Sachs economists said in a Monday note.

Goldman Sachs economists expected to see “the dissipation of this seasonal bias to slow export growth in April,” they wrote in a note earlier this month featuring an overview of trade data from China.

Recent economic data released by the world’s second-largest economy showed that China’s services sector remained a bright spot despite disappointing factory data.

THE National Bureau of Statistics Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index the reading missed expectations and fell into contractionary territory with a reading of 49.2 in April from 51.9 in March.

“China is past the fastest stage of reopening,” Goldman Sachs economists wrote in a separate note on Friday. He reiterated his forecast that China’s economy will grow 6 percent annually in 2023.

“Recent meetings with clients on the continent suggest a gradual lessening of pessimism over near-term growth, but some concern over deflationary pressures, although in our view this is not a major risk for 2023- 24,” they wrote.

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