China trade tumbles in May, adding to signs economic recovery is slowing

By AP News

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China’s exports fell 7.5% from a year earlier in May and imports were down 4.5%, adding to signs an economic recovery is slowing

China Trade

BEIJING (AP) — China’s exports fell 7.5% from a year ago in May and imports were down 4.5%, adding to signs an economic rebound following the end of anti-virus controls is slowing as global demand weakens under pressure from higher interest rates.

Exports slid to $283.5 billion, reversing from April’s unexpectedly strong 8.5% growth, customs data showed Wednesday. Imports fell to $217.7 billion, moderating from the previous month’s 7.9% contraction.

Trade weakness adds to signs China’s rebound is slowing following the December lifting of anti-virus controls that shut down industrial cities for weeks at a time and blocked most international travel.

Retail spending is lower than expected as consumers worry about the economic outlook and possible job losses. Factory activity is contracting after interest rate hikes to cool inflation in the United States and Europe depressed demand for Chinese exports.

A government survey in April found a record 1 in 5 young workers in cities were unemployed.

Economic growth accelerated to 4.5% over a year earlier in the three months ending in March from the previous quarter’s 2.9%, but forecasters say the peak of that rebound probably has passed. The ruling Communist Party’s official target growth target this year is “around 5%.”

China’s global trade surplus narrowed by 16.1% over a year ago in May to $65.8 billion, according to the General Administration of Customs.

For the year to date, imports fell 6.7% from the same five-month period of 2022 to just over $1 trillion, while export growth fell close to zero. Exports edged up 0.3% to $1.4 trillion.

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General Administration of Customs of China:

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Author: AP News

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