According to recent figures, China’s exports and imports rebounded in April, helping allay some fears about a slowdown in its economy.
Exports rose 0.9% from a year earlier, after falling for two straight months. Shipments had dropped 6.6% in March and 18.1% in February.
Imports grew 0.8% from a year ago, reversing the 11.3% decline in March.
The data come as China is looking to move its economy away from an export and investment-led growth model to one driven by domestic consumption.
China’s exports and imports rebounded in April, helping allay some fears about a slowdown in its economy
Some analysts said the latest numbers were likely to provide a boost to policymakers, not least because there have been concerns that the world’s second-largest economy may see its growth slow amid the rebalancing efforts.
China’s economy expanded by 7.4% in the first three months of the year, down from 7.7% growth in the previous quarter.
However, a sluggish start for the year is not uncommon for China due to the Lunar New Year holiday when many businesses and factories shut down operations for about two weeks.
For its part, China announced a mini-stimulus in April to help sustain growth.
As part of the stimulus, it said it was extending a tax break for small and medium-sized companies, and ramping up spending on China’s railway infrastructure.
Earlier this year, China launched a free-trade zone in Shanghai.
The zone is widely seen as a test bed for reforms in key areas of the economy, such as the financial and telecom sectors which previously were tightly controlled by the government.
Analysts have said that opening up these areas is key to sustaining China’s long term economic growth.
The Chinese exports and imports fell sharply in March 2014, adding to recent indicators pointing to a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
China’s exports fell by 6.6% in March when compared with the previous year.
Imports dropped by 11.3% in the same month, when compared with the same time last year.
This is the second straight month of falling exports for China. In February, exports dropped by 18.1%.
It is the first time since 2009 that exports have fallen for two months in a row.
The Chinese exports and imports fell sharply in March 2014
China’s export decline in February was mainly attributed to weaker demand due to the Lunar New Year holiday period, which led to closures of many businesses and factories.
Analysts had been expecting to see an increase in both import and exports for the month of March.
The March trade figures will add to recent concern about the state of the Chinese economy, which has shown signs of weakness amid poor data from the manufacturing and retail sectors.
The latest trade figures come days after the World Bank trimmed its growth forecast for China to 7.6% for this year from its earlier forecast of 7.7%.
The latest trade data leaves China with a trade surplus of $7.7 billion in March, a turnaround from a deficit of $23 billion in February.
China last week unveiled a mini-stimulus package to boost growth, which included more spending on rail infrastructure and tax breaks for small businesses.
The Chinese government is aiming for total trade to grow 7.5% this year. Last year trade grew by 7.6%, below the official target of 8%.
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