BEIJING, RAW – China’s exports grew at a robust pace in March in yet another boost to the nation’s economic recovery as global demand picks up amid progress in worldwide COVID-19 vaccination.
Its import growth also surged to the highest in four years.
The data reinforces signs of gathering momentum for the world’s second largest economy as it emerges from the pandemic-led slump in early 2020.
Exports in dollar terms soared 30.6 per cent in March from a year earlier but at a slower pace from a record 154.9 per cent growth in February.
Imports increased 38.1 per cent year-on-year last month, the highest since February 2017, beating a 23.3 per cent forecast and compared with 17.3 per cent growth in February.
China posted a trade surplus of $US13.8 billion ($A18.1 billion) last month, versus analysts expectations for the surplus to rise to $US52.05 billion from $US37.88 billion in February.
Despite sporadic COVID-19 cases in China’s border cities, authorities have largely contained the virus in a boost to factory activity as production gradually picks up to pre-pandemic levels.
Beijing managed to largely bring the pandemic under control much earlier than many countries thanks to stringent anti-virus curbs and lockdowns at the initial phase.
That has helped its economy mount a rapid turnaround led by resurgent exports growth as factories raced to fill overseas orders.
Global demand for Chinese goods have remained strong as the world recovery continues to gather pace helped by vaccinations.
China’s gross domestic product expanded 2.3 per cent last year, the only major economy to post growth in 2020, underpinned by solid demand for goods such as medical and work-from-home equipment.
Still, the massive initial hit from COVID-19 meant China’s growth in 2020 was still its weakest in 44 years.