China’s exports and imports fall

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese exports fell 7.5% in May from the same month a year earlier and imports fell 4.5%, signs the economic rebound after the removal of pandemic restrictions is weakening. , as global demand wanes in the face of interest rate increases.

Exports fell to $283.5 billion, a setback from a sharp 8.5% rise in April, according to Chinese customs data released on Wednesday. Imports decreased to 217.7 billion dollars, a more moderate contraction compared to the 7.9% contraction of the previous month. The Chinese trade surplus decreased by 16.1% to 65.8 billion dollars.

The weakness of the commercial sector is another pressure for the second largest economy in the world, after weak factory and commercial activity and a rise in unemployment among young people.

“China’s exports will continue to be inhibited at a time when a recession is expected for the US economy,” said Lloyd Chan of the Oxford Economics firm in a report.

Factory output and consumer spending rebounded after Chinese authorities lifted restrictions in December that had cut off access to big cities and blocked international travel. But analysts say the peak of that recovery is over.

Retail sales are recovering slower than expected as consumers are nervous about the economic outlook and the possibility of losing their jobs. According to a government survey in April, one in five young Chinese is unemployed, a record number.

Factory activity is contracting and employers are cutting payrolls after interest rate hikes in the United States and Europe depressed demand for Chinese exports.

Exports to the United States plunged 18.2% from the same point a year earlier to $42.5 billion after the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate to a 16-year high to slow the rate. of inflation.

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