China’s Exports And Imports Decline In August Amidst Slowing Global Demand

China Exports drop:
China's Exports And Imports Decline In August Amidst Slowing Global Demand

China’s exports and imports both experienced a drop in August, signaling subdued global demand that is placing additional strain on its decelerating economy.

Customs data revealed on Thursday that China’s exports for August fell by 8.8 percent year-on-year, marking the fourth consecutive month of decline, with a total value of $284.87 billion.

Meanwhile, imports slid by 7.3 percent, amounting to $216.51 billion. This drop in trade led to a reduced trade surplus, which fell to $68.36 billion from $80.6 billion in July.

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In response to this economic challenge, Chinese leaders have introduced various policy measures aimed at shoring up the economy after its post-COVID-19 rebound began to lose momentum earlier than anticipated.

These measures include easing borrowing rules, reducing mortgage rates for first-time homebuyers, and providing tax relief for small businesses. However, thus far, the government has refrained from implementing large-scale stimulus spending or broader tax cuts.

The decline in demand for Chinese exports can be attributed, in part, to actions taken by central banks globally, including the Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe and Asia.

These institutions raised interest rates last year in an effort to combat inflation that had reached multi-decade highs. While the full impact of these rate increases has yet to be felt in major Western economies, consumer spending in these regions has remained relatively robust.

Economists predict that exports will continue to decline in the coming months before stabilizing towards the end of the year.

According to Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics, “Most measures of export orders point to a more substantial pullback in foreign demand than has so far been reflected in the customs data.”

Notably, politically sensitive exports to the United States experienced a 17.4 percent year-on-year decrease, totaling $45 billion, while imports of U.S. goods fell by 4.9 percent to nearly $12 billion.

Conversely, China’s imports from Russia, primarily comprising oil and gas, saw a 13.3 percent increase from the previous year, amounting to $11.52 billion. China’s growing energy purchases from Russia have helped offset losses resulting from Western sanctions imposed due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Trade with the European Union also exhibited a decline, with exports to the EU dropping by 10.5 percent year-on-year to $41.3 billion, and imports of European goods falling by 2.5 percent to $24.56 billion.

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Written by Andrew Walyaula

Multimedia Journalist

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