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

Public Health

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Airtel Profit Jumps

Airtel Profit Jumps

Bharti Q2 net profit more than doubles   Full Article 

Maruti Earnings

Maruti Earnings

Maruti Suzuki net profit up 29 percent, beats estimates.  Full Article 

ICICI Results

ICICI Results

ICICI Bank Q2 profit up 15 percent, beats estimates.  Full Article 

Cost Cutting

Cost Cutting

PM Narendra Modi boots officials out of the first class cabin  Full Article 

Market at Record

Market at Record

Sensex, Nifty hit record highs; reforms outpace hawkish Fed.  Full Article 

Moody's on India

Moody's on India

Moody's welcomes India's policy steps, but wants to see more.  Full Article 

End Of QE

End Of QE

U.S. Fed ends bond buying, exhibits confidence in U.S. recovery.  Full Article 

Samsung Results

Samsung Results

Smartphone woes drag Samsung Elec Q3 profit to more than 3-year low.  Full Article 

Refining Margins

Refining Margins

BPCL aims to double refining margins with refinery expansion.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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