China’s exports rose against all expectations by 7.2% in July year-on-year, their largest increase since the end of 2019, according to figures released by Customs on Friday.
After a plunge at the start of the year due to an epidemic, the Asian giant’s sales to the rest of the world only increased by 0.5% in June, while Chinese trade is penalized by the decline in activity among its main customers, primarily Europe and North America.
This is the biggest increase in Chinese exports since December 2019, when the Asian giant’s sales increased 7.6%, just before the appearance in China of the new coronavirus.
The figure for July is significantly better than expected by analysts: experts polled by financial agency Bloomberg were betting on a 0.7% decline in exports in July.
But, a sign of persistent weakness in demand in China itself, imports fell 1.4% in July year on year, according to Customs. Experts expected a 0.9% increase in Chinese imports.
The total trade surplus came to 62.3 billion dollars, up sharply from June (46.42 billion). With the United States alone, this figure, which is a bone of contention with President Donald Trump, also increased to $ 32.45 billion, from 29.4 billion in June.
The first country affected by Covid-19 but also the first to survive, China experienced a recovery in activity in the second quarter, with an increase of 3.2% of GDP according to official figures, after a decline of 6.8% in the first quarter.
But entire sectors of the economy are still sluggish, including transport and tourism.