China recorded strong growth in trade, while other large economies still struggle with the impact of the new coronavirus.
Chinese exports in September increased 9.9%, compared to the same period last year, according to official data – it was the fourth consecutive month of high. Imports, on the other hand, grew 13.2%, after a fall of 2.1% in August.
The increase in imports reduced China’s trade surplus (difference between exported and imported values), from US $ 59 billion (R $ 390 billion) in August to US $ 37 billion (R $ 245 billion). Even so, this figure represents a 6.6% growth compared to September 2019.
Most other large economies are expected to experience major contractions because of social isolation and expenditure restraint by their populations.
But the data indicates a rapid recovery in China after an initial reduction in purchase orders from other countries caused by the pandemic.
What led to China’s recovery?
China was the first country to report infection with the virus and reported its first cases of covid-19 at the end of last year.
The world’s second largest economy experienced a sharp decline in the first three months of 2020 amid strict isolation measures, before recovering in July.
Analysts say the recovery has since been driven by an increase in international demand for electronics, medical devices and textiles, including personal protective equipment.
However, they warn that part of that demand may start to fall.
At the same time, it was revealed in August that the Japanese economy suffered the greatest shrinkage on record, partly due to the drop in exports. The US economy had its biggest contraction in decades in July.
IMF revised its projections
But the IMF says the global economy is still in a deep recession and that the risk of a worse outcome than in its new forecast is “considerable”.
The global economy is expected to shrink 4.4%, down from 4.9% released by the IMF four months ago. In 2021, it is expected to recover and grow 5.2% – below the 5.4% expansion that the institution forecast in June.
The slightly less bleak assessment reflects the fact that the slowdowns in several developed economies in the second quarter of this year were less severe than the IMF had expected.
The return to growth in China was also stronger than expected.
The largest Chinese trading partner is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Malaysia and Singapore, followed by the European Union and the United States.
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