Beijing: According to official data on Monday, China’s export growth in November was the fastest in the past three years, as the surge in demand in key markets before the holiday also helped the country achieve a record trade surplus.
This data is the latest source of good news for the world’s second largest economy. The economy has been bounced back by the lockdown caused by the virus, which plunged the country into a rare contraction earlier this year.
Overseas shipments grew 21.1 percent on-year last month to $268 billion thanks to strong demand for medical goods and electronics.
The figures — the best since February 2018 — surpassed the 12 percent tipped in a Bloomberg poll of analysts and was much better than the 11.4 percent seen in October. The reading also marked the sixth straight month of growth.
However, imports increased by 4.5%, which was lower than the expected 7.0% and slightly worse than the previous month.
In the first 11 months of this year, customs data showed that as the government adopted virus containment measures, exports of textiles, including masks, surged by 33%.
The data also shows that in November, China’s surplus with the rest of the world reached 75.42 billion U.S. dollars, higher than October’s 58.44 billion U.S. dollars, the highest record since 1990.
Iris Pang, chief economist for Greater China at ING, told AFP the latest trade figures were likely the result of “urgent export deliveries before Thanksgiving and Christmas”, with importers from western economies worried about lockdowns ahead of the year-end holidays.
But Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics, cautioned: “Many Covid-related purchases won’t happen again and we eventually expect a global rotation from goods to services consumption as vaccine availability reduces the need for social distancing.”
In November, China’s trade surplus with the US — a major point of conflict in their bruising trade war — expanded 52 percent to $37.4 billion.