scorecardChina's economy is sputtering as the nation's exports hit their lowest level in over 3 years
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China's economy is sputtering as the nation's exports hit their lowest level in over 3 years

Phil Rosen   

China's economy is sputtering as the nation's exports hit their lowest level in over 3 years
PolicyPolicy1 min read
  • China's exports tumbled in July, further denting hopes of a post-pandemic economic rebound.
  • The country's outbound shipments slid at their steepest pace since February 2020, per The Wall Street Journal.

China's ambitions for a post-pandemic rebound have yet to materialize, and the country's latest export numbers suggest the economy is struggling to revive itself even after COVID lockdowns were lifted at the end of last year.

Exports in July declined at the sharpest pace since February 2020, according to Chinese customs data cited by the Wall Street Journal.

Outbound overseas shipments from China dropped 14.5% on an annual basis, despite surging trade with Russia. Heightened geopolitical tensions between the Capitol Hill and Beijing weighed on Western business ties, in particular, with China's exports to the US and European Union falling by more than 20%.

Exports also tanked 12% in June, government data show.

Even though China eased COVID-19 restrictions last year, there's been little sign in 2023 of its eagerly awaited economic recovery. The domestic housing market faces instability, foreign investment and local spending is down, and deflation looms.

Meanwhile, a recent report from the consultancy Terry Group posited that China's not only facing a declining population, but specifically a drop-off in working-age citizens. The country reported its first dip in population last year since 1961, and researchers say the trend will be hard to reverse.

"In 1975, there were thirteen times as many children as elderly in China," the Terry Group researchers said. "By 2050, the UN projects that there will be twice as many elderly as children."

Officials in Beijing are attempting to mute downbeat sentiment. The Financial Times reported Sunday that the government has warned economists and experts not to paint the economy in a negative light.




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