China’s exports recovered at a faster than expected pace in April and imports growth accelerated notably, data from General Administration of Customs revealed Tuesday.
Exports advanced 12.9 percent year-on-year in April, reversing a 2.7 percent drop in March. Economists had forecast an increase of 8 percent.
At the same time, imports growth accelerated to 21.5 percent from 14.4 percent in the previous month. Imports were expected to rise 16 percent.
Consequently, the trade surplus totaled $28.8 billion in April, above the expected level of $27.75 billion.
In yuan terms, shipments gained 3.7 percent and imports logged a faster growth of 11.6 percent in April.
Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said despite a seasonal uptick in export growth, the data suggest that foreign demand for Chinese goods has started to soften, with the prospect of possible US tariffs weighing on the outlook.
The economist noted that while softer foreign demand is being largely offset by domestic strength for now, the headwinds to growth from slower credit creation look set to increase.
This will hopefully encourage a pragmatic approach to the trade negotiations by Chinese policymakers in order to avoid the imposition of tariffs and an even sharper slowdown in export growth, the economist added.