China exports rise unexpectedly

15 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

BEIJING: China’s exports unexpectedly rose in June as overseas economies reopened after lockdowns, while imports grew for the first time this year, reinforcing views the recovery from the pandemic is gaining traction in the world’s second-largest economy. Exports in June edged up 0.5 per cent from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, beating analysts’ expectations for a 1.5 per cent drop and compared with 3.3 per cent decline in May, report agencies.

Imports also rose 2.7 per cent, confounding market expectations for a 10 per cent drop. “The reopening of major western economies and elevated overseas demand for PPEs (personal protective equipment) and masks supported Chinese exports in June,” said Boyang Xue, a China analyst at Ducker Frontier.

China’s economy is gradually emerging from a sharp 6.8 per cent contraction in the first quarter, but the recovery remains fragile as global demand falters from social curbs and still rising coronavirus cases. Chinese consumption is subdued amid job losses and concerns about a resurgence in infections.