China’s exports and imports unexpectedly rose in April, helping leaders put a floor under a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy.
Overseas shipments increased 0.9 percent from a year earlier, when figures were inflated by fraudulent invoicing, data from the Beijing-based customs administration showed Thursday. That compared with the median estimate for a 3 percent drop in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts. Imports gained 0.8 percent, leaving a trade surplus of $18.46 billion.
The strength of trade may affect chances that leaders will resort to monetary-policy easing or larger-scale stimulus than railway spending and tax breaks, after first-quarter growth that was the slowest in six periods. China will implement measures to stabilize the country’s “severe and complicated” foreign-trade situation, the cabinet said last week.
Exports fell 6.6 percent in March from a year earlier and plunged 18.1 percent in February, the biggest drop since the global financial crisis, based on previously released data. Estimates for April from 47 economists ranged from a decline of 7.5 percent to an increase of 3.6 percent.
Imports compared with a median estimate for a 2.1 percent decline from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, while the trade surplus was projected to be $16.7 billion.
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