According to government data released on Tuesday, China’s trade numbers decreased in July, an indication that the country’s economic recovery was dragging despite efforts by leaders in Beijing to boost development, according to the New York Times.
After the United States, China has the second-largest economy in the world, and its exports have now plummeted three months in a row, while imports have fallen five months in a row. The figures are a reflection of weakening domestic and foreign demand for Chinese goods, a real estate crisis, and geopolitical tensions, especially the conflict in Ukraine.
China’s exports dropped 14.5 per cent in July from the same point last year, the biggest decline since February 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic sent the world into lockdown and tangled global supply chains. Imports fell 12.3 per cent in the same period, New York Times reported.
In the first seven months of the year, exports to the United States declined 18.6 per cent from a year earlier, while shipments to the European Union fell 5 per cent. Exports to Russia, which has been hit with Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, increased more than 70 per cent.
Mexico and Canada surpassed China this year as the United States’ top trading partners, as American companies seek to bring their supply chains closer to home. Foreign investment in China dropped more than 80 per cent in the second quarter from a year earlier, according to Chinese government data released Friday, New York Times reported.
Officials in Beijing have been trying to foster a rebound from an economic slump after nearly three years of pandemic restrictions. After China ended its lockdowns last December, many expected the economy to bounce back, but recovery has been halting, New York Times reported.
A real estate crisis and weak spending by consumers have put pressure on Beijing to increase exports to help stabilize the economy. But the trade numbers released on Tuesday suggest that weak demand may exacerbate a global slowdown.