China’s exports rebounded in May as COVID-related bottlenecks on production and logistics clear up, manufacturing activity in Shanghai gradually returned to normal towards the end of its two-month COVID curbs.
However, a slowdown looms this year as global consumer demand for goods cools, weakening trade’s ability to act as a driver for economic growth.
According to customs data showed, exports in dollar terms grew 16.9% t in May from a year earlier, accelerating from April’s 3.9 percent increase and climbing well above an 8% gain projected by economists.
Meanwhile, imports rose 4.1 percent after staying unchanged in the previous month. Economists had expected a 2.8 percent increase. This figure is also above the expectation of a 0.6 per cent rise.
The increase in export value in May from US$273.62 billion in April can also be attributed to overseas inflation.
On another note, the latest statistics released by the China Ports & Harbours Association showed the container throughput for foreign trade at eight major ports in China increased by 13 per cent year on year in May.
It is noteworthy that exports in May are mainly driven by orders placed before the outbreak. The new export order indicator from the purchasing managers’ index in the past two months is quite weak.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the Biden administration was looking to “reconfigure” tariffs on Chinese imports but warned that such cuts would not be a “panacea” for easing high inflation.