China saw its imports in May jump by 51.1% over one year, a surge which is explained by the low basis of comparison of May 2020, announced Monday (June 7) the customs administration.
This is the fastest pace of growth in purchases by the Asian giant since 2011. A year earlier, in May 2020, imports had fallen by 14.2%, when the Chinese economy came out of its paralysis to cause of epidemic.
Economists polled by the financial information agency Bloomberg had anticipated this increase (51%). Already in April, China’s imports soared (+ 43.1% over one year), thanks to massive purchases of electronic components and a weak basis for comparison with last year.
Exports slightly lower than forecast
In the other direction, sales of Chinese products abroad saw an increase of 27.9% year-on-year last month, according to Chinese customs. This figure is slightly lower than analysts’ forecasts (32%). A year ago at the same period, China’s exports had experienced a surprise rebound (+ 3.5%), despite the Covid-19 pandemic which then paralyzed the world economy.
The gradual improvement in health conditions in China from spring 2020, thanks to the widespread wearing of masks and massive screening tests, enabled the country to regain a level of pre-pandemic activity at the end of last year.
As for the Asian giant’s trade surplus, in May it reached 45.53 billion dollars (37.42 billion euros), down 26.5% over one year. The Chinese surplus last April was 42.85 billion dollars (35.5 billion euros).