04/13/2015, 00.00
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China’s trade plunges, down by billion

Government figures show a 12.3 per cent decline in imports, and a 14.6 per cent drop in exports. China’s trade surplus shrank by 62.6 per cent. Chinese analysts blame weak global demand and the appreciation of the dollar against other currencies. The trend in lower economic growth is expected to continue in 2015.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Chinese economy is slowing down again, despite reassuring words from Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

China’s imports fell by 12.3 per cent, whilst exports fell 14.6 per cent on-year in March, this according to China's customs administration.

Analysts had expected exports to rise 12 per cent in March on a yearly basis. They also expected a drop in imports but not by as much.

Monthly trade surplus plummeted 62.6 per cent in March. The trade performance left China with a trade surplus of .1 billion last month, much smaller than forecasts for a .4 billion trade gap.

"The slump in the exports figure is mainly due to the weak global demand, while the appreciation in dollars against other currencies in the past quarter was also negative for China's exports," said Nie Wen, a strategist at Hwabao Trust in Shanghai. "More stimulus measures are needed in the future."

Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Wang Yang was quoted by Xinhua as saying earlier this month that authorities must stop the slowdown in China's export lest it further dampens economic growth.

He also called on local governments to offer "preferential policy support" and to encourage more private investment in the export sector.

In 2014, the Chinese economy grew by 7.4 per cent, the worst result in the past 24 years. The forecast for this year is even worse.

The government expects trade figures to grow by 6 per cent. Last year, trade grew by only 3.4 per cent against a target of 7.5 per cent.

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