China’s exports fell in the first two months of the year, as sluggish global demand poses a significant challenge to the country’s fragile economic recovery following COVID-19.
January-February exports were down 6.8% from the same period a year ago, following a 9.9% year-over-year drop in December. Still, the result was better than the average market forecast, which called for a 9.0% drop.
Meanwhile, official data released on Tuesday showed that imports fell by 10.2% year-over-year in the first two months of 2023, which was lower than the 5.5% decrease that had been forecasted.
Continued sluggish demand for the country’s products is reflected in a decline in both exports and imports, lending fuel to official worries that a global downturn may be felt at home.
On Thursday, China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao warned that a global recession and deteriorating external demand would put even more downward pressure on the country’s imports and exports this year.
As the world’s second largest economy grew at one of its slowest rates in decades in 2022, China has set a target for GDP growth this year of approximately 5%. In 2021, the increase in the gross domestic product from the previous year was merely 3%.