China’s exports and imports fell more than expected in April, underlining weak demand at home and abroad and cooling hopes of a recovery in the economy, Reuters reported.
Exports fell 1.8 percent from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said Sunday.
That was a reversal from the previous month’s brief recovery.
April imports dropped 10.9 percent from a year earlier, falling for the 18th consecutive month, suggesting domestic demand remains weak despite a pickup in infrastructure spending and record credit growth in the first quarter.
“Both exports and imports came in weaker than expected, in line with the soft trade performance across Asia, pointing to another challenging year for emerging markets,” said Zhou Hao, senior emerging-market economist at Commerzbank in Singapore.
China’s exports to the United States — the country’s top export market — fell 9.3 percent in April from a year earlier, while shipments to the European Union — the second-biggest market — rose 3.2 percent, customs data showed.
The State Council has vowed to take steps to boost exports, including encouraging banks to boost lending, expanding export credit insurance and raise tax rebates for some firms.
China had a trade surplus of US$45.56 billion in April, higher than the US$40 billion forecast by economists.
China’s central bank said Friday that it will fine-tune policy in a pre-emptive and timely way, as the economy still faces downward pressure despite signs of steadying.
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