Strong foreign demand gave the Chinese economy an unexpectedly strong boost in August. Exports grew by 25.6 percent compared to the same month last year, as the customs authorities announced in Beijing on Tuesday. Exports to South Korea, Australia and the European Union grew particularly strongly. One reason for this is that retailers in industrialized countries are already preparing for the Christmas business.
Economists polled by Reuters had only expected an increase of 17.1 percent, after 19.3 percent in July. The trade surplus reached $ 58.3 billion.
“In particular, the upswing in Chinese-made consumer goods such as electronics, furniture and leisure products arguably reflects the replenishment of retailers’ inventories before the holiday season,” said Sheana Yue, economist of Capital Economics.
Economic recovery with consumer goods
The People’s Republic is by far the largest exporter in the world, which is why the unexpectedly strong increase in exports also suggests an upturn in the global economy. In the first half of the year, these had still noticeably suffered from the restrictions in the fight against the corona pandemic.
But China itself is also increasingly buying from all over the world. Imports rose 33.1 percent in August. Here experts had only expected 26.8 percent, after 28.1 percent in July. Foreign trade was also boosted by the release of port congestion, which made it easier to load goods. Due to corona cases among port employees, the authorities had temporarily closed terminals, which is leading to concerns about delivery interruptions worldwide.
Imports from the USA, which is continuing a trade war with China, rose sharply by 33.3 percent. In contrast, Chinese exports to the USA only increased by 15.5 percent. Trade between the two largest economies rose by a total of 18.9 percent.
IMF: Eight percent economic growth
For China, the second largest economy after the USA, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects economic growth of 8.1 percent this year. An increase of 5.7 percent is expected for 2022.
Due to the largest outbreak of the corona virus in a year with the dangerous Delta variant, China’s economy had recently lost some of its steam. The authorities were able to get the spread under control within around four weeks by August. The closure of a terminal in the important container port of Ningbo was also lifted due to cases of infection.
China, where the coronavirus was first discovered worldwide in December 2019, is pursuing a strict zero-Covid strategy. With mass tests, contact tracing, forced quarantine, curfews and isolation from abroad, the most populous country has brought the virus under control quite successfully since the summer of last year. Anyone who is still allowed to enter the country has to go to a quarantine facility for three weeks after arrival. (apa / Reuters / dpa)