BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s exports rose unexpectedly in June, as many countries lifted containment measures and reopened their economies, and imports rose for the first time this year, fueling l idea of a post-health crisis recovery of the Chinese economy.
Chinese customs data said exports rose 0.5% year-on-year last month, while economists polled by Reuters expected a 1.5% decline after falling 3 , 3% in May.
Imports rose 2.7%, sharply beating the consensus which emerged at -10%, while they fell 16.7% in May.
“The reopening of the main western economies, and increased foreign demand for personal protective equipment and masks supported Chinese exports in June,” noted Boyang Xue, analyst at Ducker Frontier.
“In addition to this, disruptions in production chains among China’s trade rivals have also helped redirect some orders to Chinese exporters,” he added.
The world’s second largest economic power is gradually recovering from a 6.8% contraction in the first quarter, a fragile recovery as world demand suffers from social restriction measures and the increase in cases of contamination by the coronavirus.
However, Chinese exports have not been affected as much by the global economic slowdown as some analysts feared, even if the country’s industrialists could face pressure in the coming quarters.
Customs data show China’s trade surplus in June stands at $ 46.42 billion, up from $ 62.93 billion in May, when economists on average forecast $ 58.60 billion .
China’s trade surplus with the United States widened last month, to $ 29.41 billion from $ 27.89 billion in May.