China’s exports up 15 percent

June 11th, 2012 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, June 11 (IANS) China’s exports rose by over 15 percent in May, from the previous year, as shipments to the US increased significantly and trade with the European Union (EU) rebounded.

But economists warned that despite these figures, compared to the previous year, it is still too early to throw caution overboard and prospects for the year remain dim.

Exports did beat market expectations to surge by 15.3 percent to $181.1 billion in May, against 4.9 percent growth in April, according to the Customs figures.

And imports rose by 12.7 percent year-on-year, to $162.4 billion last month, much stronger than the 0.3 percent rise in April, China Daily reported Monday.

Both exports and imports hit record highs in terms of value. The trade surplus in May hit $18.7 billion after reaching $18.4 billion in April.

“May figures are not representative and we have to wait for some months to see whether exports have truly recovered,” said Jia Kang, head of the fiscal science institute at the finance ministry.

“But they did bring some relief and showed the situation is not as bad as expected,” he said.

China faces the risk of further slowdown in the economy amid European woes.

The People’s Bank of China, the central bank, lowered interest rates by 25 basis points last week, taking one-year borrowing costs down to 6.31 percent and the one-year savings rate to 3.25 percent.

Exports surged by 8.7 percent, year-on-year, to $774.4 billion from January to May, and imports increased by 6.7 percent to $736.5 billion during the same period.

Trade with the US jumped 12 percent to $190 billion during the first five months, and trade with the EU picked up by 1.3 percent.

The EU is China’s largest trade partner.

China’s shipments to the US jumped by 23 percent in May, from a year earlier, the biggest increase this year.

“It’s still early to conclude that the worst is over,” said Zhao Jinping, economist at the Development Research Centre of the State Council.

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