China's foreign trade jumps by 15.7%, beats expectations
Beijing: Belying expectations, Communist trading giant China posted a robust 15.7 percent year-on-year growth in foreign trade in April, with an USD 18.16 billion surplus showing that the world's second-largest economy was recovering from a slowdown.
The General Administration of Customs (GAC) said in a statement that the total exports and imports stood at 2.23 trillion yuan (USD 355.96 billion) last month registering USD 18.16 billion surplus.
China's foreign trade volume grew by 15.7 percent year on year in April, faster than the 12.1 percent increase in March.
Exports rose 14.7 percent year-on-year to 1.17 trillion yuan, while imports surged 16.8 percent to 1.06 trillion yuan, the data showed.
China saw a trade surplus of 114.53 billion yuan in April, narrowing 1.7 percent from a year earlier.
In the first four months of the year, total foreign trade expanded 14 percent from a year ago to 8.36 trillion yuan, while trade surplus stood at 383.46 billion yuan (USD 18.16 billion).
China's April trade figures beat forecasts on all fronts, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Exports rose 14.7 percent, forecast was just 10.3 percent, while in March, exports only gained 2.7 percent. Imports increased 16.8 percent, compared to expectations of a 13.9 percent rise, versus a fall of 7.7 percent in March.
The GAC started using the yuan, besides the US dollar, to calculate its trade figures from February in an effort to promote the international use of the Chinese currency.
The positive trade trend was in contrast to the decline of China's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector to 50.6 percent in April from 50.9 percent in March, raising concerns over continued slow down of the world's second largest economy.
Also, China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth fell to 7.7 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the 7.9 percent growth in the last quarter of 2012, belying expectations of surge in the growth due to excessive liquidity and reforms by new leadership.
China is the world's second-largest merchandise trader, second only to the US.
China's total trade grew just 6.2 percent last year, well below the official target of about 10 percent.