first decline in imports since 2020, against the backdrop of Covid

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published on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 07:48

China’s imports fell 0.1% year-on-year in March, as Shanghai’s lockdown is heavily penalizing economic activity, according to figures released Wednesday by Customs.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected an 8.4% year-on-year rise in imports.

This drop is the first since August 2020, when the Asian giant was gradually recovering from the first wave of the pandemic.

“The impact of certain factors at the international and national level has proved to be greater than expected,” Chinese Customs spokesman Li Kuiwen told reporters.

Last month, tens of millions of Chinese were confined, particularly in the northeast of the country, the cradle of the automotive industry, in the technological metropolis of Shenzhen (south) and in Shanghai, which has 25 million inhabitants. .

Many multinationals are established there and the Chinese economic capital also has the largest port in China.

The shutdown of the metropolis therefore weighs heavily on activity in the country and global supply chains.

In the other direction, exports from China, on the other hand, experienced a slowdown: Chinese sales abroad rose in March by 14.7% over one year, according to Customs.

This rate is lower than that of January and February combined, the only data then published (16.3%) but much better than analysts’ forecasts (12.8%).

As for the trade surplus of the Asian giant, it reached in March 47.38 billion dollars (43.73 billion euros).

The Chinese surplus amounted for January and February combined to a record level of 115.95 billion dollars (106.88 billion euros).

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