February 8, 2023

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China sees its exports and imports decline

This is the biggest drop in exports to China since February 2020, when the country came to a near standstill. They fell 8.7% in a year, according to Chinese customs, on the back of health restrictions weighing on the economy, according to official figures released on Wednesday.

In November, imports fell 10.6% year-on-year. This is the strongest decline since May 2020.

The Asian country, which faced its biggest wave of Covid-19 cases in November since the pandemic began, has continued its strict health policy, even if the numbers are small compared to its population. This includes daily screenings of the population, mandatory quarantines for people who test positive, or incarceration once cases appear. These activities have logically captured household consumption, supply chains and business demand.

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Threats of recession in the US and Europe have also weakened demand for Chinese goods, raising energy prices. However, these figures should be put into perspective with regard to the medium-term outlook, because China seems to be on the path to a change in policy regarding Covid-19 in recent days, gradually easing some restrictions.

from Massive demonstrations at the end of November Fed up with the excesses of the zero-covid health strategy, Chinese citizens have announced large-scale mandatory PCR tests or quarantine for infected people. But travel between provinces remains complicated and economic recovery may take time, leaving the easing of rules to combat Covid-19 uncertain for now.

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The world with AFP