Chinese imports and exports decline as coronavirus forces shutdowns
First two months of 2020 more volatile than usual for China’s economic activity due to a week-long lunar new year holiday and the coronavirus epidemic
China’s exports fell more than expected in the first two months of this year as the coronavirus outbreak led to extended holidays, depressed factory output, and blocked transport and movement across the country. Imports also declined, although increases in commodities purchases offset some of that.
The drop in exports was a bigger-than-expected 17.2% in dollar terms, while imports declined 4%, according to a statement from Chinese customs Saturday. While the trade surplus with the US shrank, it’s probably too early to see a strong effect from the deal with the Trump administration, which was signed in January but only went into effect in mid-February...