Gloomy export numbers from China suggest that the world’s biggest trading nation has been hit by the global economic slowdown as well as the China-U.S. trade war. While annual Chinese exports rose by almost ten percent and imports increased by 16 percent in 2018, the last two months of the year already showed a clear downward trend. 2019 showed a flurry to export in some months (in order to get merchandise out before the tariffs hit) and major slumps in others.
The glaring export drop of 8.3 percent in April (seasonally adjusted) was the worst result in more than a year. According to Bloomberg, incoming trade also suffered significantly because of softening domestic demand. Chinese imports fell more than 10 percent in October, compared to 12 months earlier.
While the uncertainty linked to the trade conflict and tariffs between China and the U.S. are clearly showing a negative impact on China’s trade figures, slower growth might as well be a result of both weaker global demand and the domestic economic slowdown in China.