China exports fall for second straight month in March

BEIJING Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:39am IST

Cargo ships filled with shipping containers are seen docked at Qingdao port in Qingdao, Shandong province March 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Cargo ships filled with shipping containers are seen docked at Qingdao port in Qingdao, Shandong province March 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's exports unexpectedly fell for the second straight month in March and import growth dropped sharply, intensifying concerns about weak manufacturing and slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy.

Exports fell 6.6 percent in March from a year earlier, following an 18.1 percent slide in February, the Customs Administration said on Thursday. It was the first time exports have fallen for two months in a row since 2009.

Imports fell 11.3 percent, leaving the country with a trade surplus of $7.7 billion for the month, a marked turnaround from a deficit of $23 billion in February.

That compared with market expectations in a Reuters poll of a rise of 4 percent in exports, a 2.4 percent rise in imports and a trade surplus of $900 million.

"We believe that China's trade growth in the first half would be distorted as the export over-invoicing activities last year have inflated the base for comparison. Our field study also shows that the exports are more resilient than what the headline data suggest," said Zhou Hao, China economist at ANZ in Shanghai.

"In the meantime, a moderation in import growth also reflects that China's manufacturing sector remains lukewarm."

EXPORTS FALL IN Q1

First-quarter exports fell 3.4 percent from a year earlier, while imports were up 1.6 percent, producing a trade surplus of $16.7 billion, down 59.7 percent from a year ago.

Economists polled by Reuters expect first-quarter gross domestic product figures due on April 16 to show annual growth slowing to a five-year low of 7.3 percent from 7.7 percent in the final quarter of 2013.

There has been a run of weaker-than-expected data this year that has raised fears the economy may be slowing more than had been expected.

The country's top economic planning agency said on Wednesday it has less room than before to use policy tools to support the economy.

Last week, the government announced plans to quicken construction of railways and affordable housing, and cut taxes for small firms underpin activity.

(China economics team; Editing by John Mair)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Consumer Confidence Index

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

Exclusive - Lupin, U.S. firms weigh bids for GSK's mature drugs: sources  Full Article 

Classifying Banks

Classifying Banks

RBI to start announcing too-big-to-fail banks in Aug 2015  Full Article 

Corruption Probe

Corruption Probe

India to probe corruption in healthcare after TV sting.  Full Article 

Food Scandal

Food Scandal

Starbucks, Burger King dragged in as China food scandal spreads.  Full Article 

Bigger iPhones

Bigger iPhones

Apple asks suppliers to produce up to 80 mln large-screen iPhones - WSJ.  Full Article 

Bali Trade Deal

Bali Trade Deal

India keeps world guessing in countdown to landmark trade pact deadline.  Full Article 

Bangalore Sex Abuse

Bangalore Sex Abuse

Modi's BJP puts political twist on local sex abuse case   Full Article 

Yahoo to buy Flurry

Yahoo to buy Flurry

Yahoo to buy analytics startup Flurry to bolster mobile ad business.  Full Article 

Wholesale Biz

Wholesale Biz

Wal-Mart adds $102.9 million in Indian wholesale business in June.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage