Chinese exports fall further in Oct, trade surplus hits 17-mth low

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Investing.com– Chinese exports fell more than expected in October amid worsening overseas demand, while an unexpected rise in imports saw China’s trade surplus shrink to its worst level in 17 months. 

China’s fell far more than expected to $56.53 billion, missing expectations of $81.95 billion and falling sharply from the $77.71 billion seen last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Tuesday.

The surplus was at its worst level since May 2022, when Chinese economic activity had ground to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Chinese slid 6.4% year-on-year in October, missing expectations for a decline of 5.4% and accelerating from a 6.2% drop in the prior month. The decline was driven chiefly by worsening economic conditions in China’s biggest trade destinations- Europe and the U.S.. 

Chinese business activity data for October had also shown that local businesses- particularly in the – were suffering from weakening overseas demand, as foreign importers faced increased pressure from high interest rates and sticky inflation. 

But local demand seemed to have improved slightly, amid a slew of stimulus measures from Beijing to foster economic growth. Chinese grew 3%, beating expectations for a decline of 4.8%, and improving from a 6.2% drop seen in September.

Still, Tuesday’s trade data highlighted continued headwinds for the Chinese economy, especially as its key export sectors face worsening demand.

While China’s economy in the third quarter, weaker-than-expected business activity data showed a dismal start to the last three months of the year. 

Beijing is set to roll out a massive, 1 trillion yuan ($136 billion) bond issuance in the coming months to increase infrastructure spending and improve economic activity. While this is expected to help spur some growth, China’s export-oriented sectors are set for more weakness, especially as the euro zone faces a recession and as U.S. interest rates rise further.

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