Business & Economy

China growth rebounds in May as Covid restrictions ease

Beijing, Jun 9 (EFE).- Chinese foreign trade growth rebounded in May by 9.6% year-on-year after suffering a setback in April due to Coronavirus restrictions shuttering the nation’s largest cities.

China’s imports and exports totaled 16.04 trillion yuan ($2.4 trillion) during the first five months of 2022, a year-on-year growth of 8.3 %, the General Administration of Customs said Wednesday, according to the official China Daily newspaper.

Foreign trade reached $2.51 trillion, a 10.3% hike on the previous year, the national Xinhua news agency said.


During the first five months of 2022, Chinese trade grew by 8.3% compared to the same period in 2021, with exports advancing at a faster rate than imports: 11.4% and 4.7%, respectively.

China’s trade surplus from January to May increased by 47.6% compared to the same period last year.

But April slowed growth significantly due to various Coronavirus outbreaks which led to stringent lockdowns in some of China’s industrial and financial hubs, including its largest city Shanghai.

Other regions such as the northeastern province of Jilin or the capital Beijing also imposed restrictions in March and April that dampened economic activity.

In May, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang warned the economy could fail to reach its growth target of approximately 5.5 % this year as it was facing “critical risks”.


According to the customs report, China’s two main trading partners continue to be the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union which combined account for 28.5% of Beijing’s international trade.

Trade with ASEAN member states grew by 8.1% year on year, and EU trade increased by 7%.

Chinese exports to the EU rose by 17.4% year-on-year, something which was not mirrored in China where European imports fell by 8.5%.

The United States continues to be Beijing’s third-largest trading partner despite a trade war and tariff hikes, and transactions between the two superpowers rose by 10.1% in May with Chinese exports to the US increasing at a faster rate (12.9%) than imports (2.91%).


“Export and import year on year growth picked up last month,” Sheana Yue, analyst at Capital Economics, reported. “In volume terms, exports rebounded while imports were largely unchanged.”

“We think outbound shipments will soften again before long amid growing headwinds, while imports are set to remain weak,” Yue said.

The analyst added that a “tepid” recovery was expected fueled by high inflation and soaring interest rates in key markets for China which will affect the purchasing power of consumers in those countries.EFE


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