China’s exports rose sharply in March, the highest import growth in four years

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Containers can be seen in Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai

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By Gabriel Crossley

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s exports grew strongly in March, fueling the country’s economic recovery once again as global demand picked up on advances in global COVID-19 vaccination and import growth rose to its highest level in four years .

The data reinforces signs that the world’s second largest economy is gaining momentum as it emerges from the COVID-19-led slump in early 2020.

Exports in US dollars rose 30.6% year over year in March, albeit at a slower pace than after a record 154.9% growth in February. The analysts polled by Reuters forecast an increase in deliveries of 35.5%.

Imports rose 38.1% yoy last month, their highest level since February 2017, beating a forecast of 23.3%, compared to a 17.3% growth in February.

China posted a trade surplus of $ 13.8 billion last month, compared to analysts’ expectations that the surplus will increase to $ 52.05 billion from $ 37.88 billion in February.

Despite sporadic COVID-19 cases in China’s border towns, authorities have largely managed to contain the virus to increase factory activity as production has gradually increased to pre-pandemic levels.

Beijing managed to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control much earlier than many other countries thanks to strict antivirus restrictions and bans in the early stages of the outbreak last year.

This has helped the economy quickly turn around after a slump in early 2020, led by resurgent export growth as factories sped to fulfill overseas orders.

Global demand for Chinese goods remains strong as the global economic recovery continued to gather momentum, aided in part by increased vaccination efforts.

China’s gross domestic product grew by 2.3% last year. This was the only major economy to see growth in 2020. This was supported by solid demand for goods such as medical equipment and home work equipment.

However, the massive first blow of the COVID-19 crisis meant that China’s 2020 growth was still the weakest in 44 years.

This year, China has set a modest growth target of at least 6% as authorities have planned a cautious course of a year troubled by COVID-19 and amid mounting tensions with the United States.

China’s trade surplus with the United States decreased from $ 23.01 billion in February to $ 21.37 billion in March.

President Joe Biden said last month that the United States is not looking to confront China over trade disparities.

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