China’s export growth tumbled after Shanghai and other industrial cities were shut down to fight virus outbreaks

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China’s export growth tumbled in April after Shanghai and other industrial cities were shut down to fight virus outbreaks. Exports rose 3.7 per cent over a year earlier to $273.6 billion, down sharply from March’s 15.7 per cent growth, customs data showed Monday.

Reflecting weak Chinese demand, imports crept up 0.7 per cent to $222.5 billion, in line with the previous month’s equally weak growth below 1 per cent. The data confirmed fears the ruling Communist Party’s “zero-tolerance” strategy that shut most businesses in Shanghai and other industrial centers would depress trade and activity in autos, electronics and other industries.

Exports to the US rose 9.5 per cent to $46 billion despite persisting tariff hikes in a fight over Beijing’s technology ambitions. Imports of American goods increased 0.9 per cent to $13.8 billion. China’s global trade surplus widened by 19.4 per cent to $51.1 billion whiles the politically volatile surplus with the US contracted by 65 per cent to $9.8 billion.

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