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China exports up 8.5% in April in unexpected climb

Driverless trucks move shipping containers at a port in Tianjin, China, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. Chinese exports grew in April by 8.5% to $295.4 billion compared with a year earlier despite weakening global demand. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese exports grew 8.5% in April, showing more unexpected strength despite weakening global demand, customs data showed Tuesday.

Exports grew to $295.4 billion compared with a year earlier, although at a slower pace, building on momentum seen in the March data when exports rose 14.8%.

But imports shrank at a faster pace, with the total slumping 7.9% to $205.2 billion compared to the same time last year, according to data from the General Administration of Customs on Tuesday. It was down 1.4% in March.

China’s trade surplus in April widened, growing 82.3% as compared to the same period last year.

In the first four months of the year, exports edged up 2.5% over the same period of 2022 to $1,117 billion, the General Administration of Customs of China reported. Total imports contracted 7.3% to $822 billion.

Despite that, forecasters say exports should weaken this year.

Global consumer demand weakened after the Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe and Asia raised interest rates to cool inflation that was near multi-decade highs by reining in business and consumer activity.

The Associated Press

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